Ideas from Russell Lands on Lake Martin?
While Lake Martin in some ways started a little rough, they've seen upscale progress that can serve as a model in part for Randolph County. Russell Lands is different indeed yet Alabama Power could very serve as a local comparison. Alcohol sales would be a good start for development on our Lake Wedowee. Plus it makes sense for the whole county to move past fundamentalist acting as our local Taliban. Slow development that respects the environment, quality of life, investment locally, building codes, ... would be other things to consider. Peace ... or War!
Much of Russell's land is still undeveloped. That's key to nearby Alexander City, which is seeing its largest employer continue to struggle.
Russell Corp. began scaling back its work force eight years ago and so far has cut more than 4,000 jobs, the equivalent of one-third of the town's population. It has found a savior in billionaire investor Warren Buffett, but no one knows what the $600 million acquisition means for the 3,000 in Alexander City still employed by the clothing maker.
Despite the cutbacks and uncertainty, something peculiar is happening.
The number of people living in Alexander City has not fallen since the layoffs began, and sales tax revenue has increased -- from $5.8 million annually in 1998 to $6.8 million in 2005.
Part of the reason: Lake Martin.
"It's extremely important," said Mayor Barbara Young. "Anything that Russell Lands does will affect us."