Heflin council renames road after incoming industrial company
March 14, 2017
By Kirsten Fiscus
The Anniston Star

The Heflin City Council on Tuesday renamed a road, declared a totaled police vehicle surplus and heard a yearly update on the county’s economic development plan.

Last week during a work session, council members discussed changing the name of Old Edwardsville Road and voted to rename it Rusken Parkway on Tuesday.

“We’re naming it after the company that’s coming into the old Moore’s plant that’s been vacant for a while,” Mayor Rudy Rooks said after the meeting.

The change will only affect about four homes along the road, Rooks said.

“We’ve contacted all the parties involved already,” the mayor said. “We’ve talked with 911 and they’ll send something out to all first responders.”

The council also declared a wrecked Heflin patrol vehicle surplus after it was totaled last month.

“Our officers got into a pursuit with three armed robbery suspects,” police Chief A.J. Benefield said after the meeting. “They came off the 210 exit and went into a concrete culvert. The suspect’s vehicle went up the embankment and wrecked when it came back down into the culvert.”

The undercarriage of the Chevrolet Caprice was damaged in the wreck, Benefield said.

“That’s what totaled it,” he said. “It would have been fine otherwise.”

The officer involved in the wreck “was shaken up,” Benefield said, but was released from the hospital with minor injuries.

During the public comments section of the meeting, one resident complained that people were not obeying the 20 mph speed limit on Almon Street.

“My wife has to hug the mailbox pole to keep from getting hit,” he said.

Benefield took down the man’s address and assured he would personally patrol the area. Rooks noted that the city would soon have a portable radar system.

“We’re going to set it up in various places throughout the city,” Rooks said.

The council, as well as community members, heard an annual update from the economic development board following the meeting. During the update, committee members discussed development goals and achievements for the county.

“Cleburne County has a ready workforce,” said Tanya Maloney, the county’s economic development director. “When Tree Brand Packaging was looking at coming in, they wanted to know about our available workforce. We need to be able to say we have the folks here ready to work now and we have a plan to fill the pipeline in the future.”

Maloney noted that the county has been successful in pulling in industry, that all available city property is being marketed and that programs aimed at fostering a skilled workforce are being encouraged.

“What we need to work on is identifying available property that already has that gas, water and power infrastructure in place,” she said. “Companies want established buildings. That’s how we sold the Moore plant.”