Montevallo mayor forms Economic Sustainability Task Force

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – A new group of business and economic development leaders in Montevallo will work to find solutions to issues residents face during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Hollie Cost has assembled the Montevallo Economic Sustainability Task Force to meet each week and share resources, provide updates and brainstorm solutions to COVID-19-related problems that affect local business owners.

“We’re actively working to find solutions to try to mitigate the situation and make sure that we support Montevallo businesses as much as possible,” Main Street Montevallo Executive Director Courtney Bennett said in her report during the March 23 City Council meeting. “Everybody will be getting personal contact at least once a week, by phone or in person safely.”

Bennett is serving on the task force alongside Cost, Main Street Board President Julie Smitherman, Economic Vitality Chairman Ken Jones, Montevallo Chamber Director Steve Gilbert, Shelby County Chamber Director Kirk Mancer, Montevallo Development Cooperative District Chair Dee Woodham, 58 INC. Managing Director Yvonne Murray, Montevallo City Clerk and Treasurer Herman Lehman, University of Montevallo President Dr. John Stewart, City Councilman and Finance Committee Chairman Jason Peterson and Mayor’s Assistant Maggie Benson.

“The purpose of that is to stay ahead of the curve,” Cost said. “We know a lot of changes are happening in our economic climate, and we want to do all that we can to not only mitigate this virus, but also to mitigate the problems that we might face economically. We’re working together to share resources, share information and support our business community as we go through this.”

The Montevallo Development Cooperative District will hold a special called meeting on Friday, March 27, at 1 p.m. at City Hall to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on a small business located in MDCD-owned property.

Seating at the meeting will be limited in accordance with current guidelines requiring people to maintain 6 feet of separation from each other.

In other news, all playgrounds in Montevallo will be closed starting March 25 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to a post on the city’s Facebook page.

The city parks will remain open for the use of walking trails and fields, but park-goers must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.

Bathrooms at Orr Park and Shoal Creek Park will remain open.

For more information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit Cityofmontevallo.com/414/COVID-19.