Homegrown business key to future

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 14, 2002

There are many positive aspects to the recent announcement of a Hyundai car plant being built south of Montgomery, said Lucius Black, state representative for District 71 from York, Alabama.

State government can encourage suppliers to the plant to locate in this area. All of the cities and towns in the area must work together with the governor and the state industrial development office to attract such businesses.

The state legislature has passed tax incentives a few years ago that allows cities and towns to spend more money on industrial development.

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He also expects area residents to look for work at the plant, and Black is concerned about an additional drain of population from the district.

Black is running for reelection as state representative for District 71, which includes Sumter and Greene counties, and portions of Marengo and Tuscaloosa counties.

He was first elected to the state house in 1983. He moved from District 67 to 71 after the 1990 Census.

3We1ve got to do something to keep our people settled,2 he said. 3…They1re migrating to cities and towns that are already built up.2

Black envisions some initiatives, 3where we can have some homegrown businesses.2 He believes progress in the area will come from entrenpreneurship and the rise of more small businesses.

Industries can come and go in a rural area, and it can be devastating for a community to tie its future to only attracting large industries.

He supports those individuals and leaders who are trying to develop technical education classes in Demopolis and Marengo County.

It is crucial that people work together in the district to bring about improvements, he said. They also must avoid the political agendas of various groups and coalitions and 3find a way to benefit everybody &045; not just one or two.2

People of all races should sit down and talk for what is good for all the people- rather than doing something that is just popular, he said.

He has confidence that the various elected leaders in the district can come together for the good of all, and he has tried to make himself available to them in helping creating laws and resolving issues.

Black is on the Commerce and Transportation committee in the House. He is a long time supporter of maintaining the quality of highways, bridges and county roads.

He is hopeful that the four-laning of Highway 80 will continue west, at least to the Livingston exit.

3I think 80 has a good chance to extend some,2 he said. 3They (the Alabama Department of Transportation) claim they don1t have the funds to extend it farther.2

In the case of Highway 43 he is not sure whether the study of a potential North-South corridor will one day mean four lanes through Marengo county.

3It’s difficult to get those (highway) funds in small towns,2 Black said, 3because the traffic count is so low. That1s the problem we have with that.2

When area legislators go and make special requests for highway improvement, the argument is often about traffic count, he said.