Town of Shorter looking for identity beyond gaming center

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

SHORTER, AL (WSFA) - "We're not satisfied with just being a small town, but we want to be a growing small town," says Shorter Town Clerk, Harold Powell.

Small town or not, the new master plan depicts what could be big changes for the land just off I-85 at the Shorter exit.

"We've got a recreation area that's got some beachfront planned in it, we've got a golf course that's planned as part of it, park spaces, amphitheater on the site, duplexes to town homes, to senior homes to estate homes," adds Powell.

Powell grew up with a dream of creating a thriving city in his old stomping grounds. This plan would get him one step closer.

"If we have Victoryland, this will certainly add to what Victoryland has already done in the area. But if it doesn't, this plan is dependent on us developing the community for the sake of the community," adds Powell.

The master plan may be on the books, but nothing can happen until a $1.2 million dollar sewer system extension is done.  The extention brings much needed infrastructure to Shorter's main thoroughfare.

"It opens up all the land in that interstate area for development," says Powell.

"Now that that's going to be accomplished, I think you're going to see Shorter and this exit have the potential for a tremendous amount of growth," says Drew Thompson.

Thompson's family has owned the Marathon gas station for 40 years. The new plan gives him confidence he'll be here for years to come.

"I think it will create a much more stable environment for not only my business here but other businesses in the town itself."

"Bring more jobs for people that don't have jobs," says Shorter resident, Horace Johnson.

"You gotta be based on more than just gambling alone," says Shorter resident, Eddie Pollard.

Residents and officials alike hope this town on the move lives up to this slogan.

The plan also calls for a brand new town hall building. Crews will demolish the old one and build a new one in the same place.

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