Residents use social media to speak on downtown Scottsboro revitalization project

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — With one million dollars of grant money on the line, and potentially more on the way, Jackson County residents are taking to Facebook to share with local leaders what they would like to see in Scottsboro’s historic downtown square.

Scottsboro and Jackson County leaders were recently awarded a combined one million dollars in grant funding to revitalize the downtown area of Scottsboro. The City has also applied for another two hundred thousand dollar grant for the same purpose. Mayor Melton Potter says they will know the status of that funding in October, and then the planning stages for the downtown area will come to fruition.

For now though, there is only speculation as to what those funds will be used for, and how the square will look when the project is completed.

Online, with 18 keystrokes, you’ll find a Facebook page designated to those thoughts, wishes, and plans.

It’s a page called Downtown Scottsboro. Since the page’s creation earlier this month, more than 1,000 users have ‘liked’ the forum.

Deborah Light is a business owner in the square and uses the page. “It allows people to express their ideas of what they would like to see in our area, and what would keep them shopping, dining and doing business in our area,” she says.

Ultimately, the social media page is a public forum for discussion, and city leaders are taking notice. “I think it will be a useful tool in us trying to locate new businesses in Scottsboro,” Mayor Potter says.

Mayor Potter says the page is setting up framework for a movement outside of social media. “What maybe I would like to see is maybe them coming and meeting with me in the future, and sit down and discuss a plan of action on how we can achieve what they would like to see,” Mayor Potter says.

One idea rampant in the page’s numerous posts is using the funds to preserve the historic feel of the square while creating an arts and entertainment district. Light and others who use the page are encouraging residents to chime in, and add their own thoughts for the future of the historic square. “We are hoping this will all come together and allow everyone to benefit from the grants that we’ve received,” Light says.

Page administrators say they were recently made aware of a downtown redevelopment authority, that they say the City can take advantage of with grant money. Page administrators says they are hoping the City will be able to create that authority to assist in their efforts to make their plans for the downtown square a reality.

Mayor Potter says once the city learns the status of the second grant, they will start on the planning stages. That is expected to be in October.

To visit the Downtown Scottsboro Facebook discussion forum, follow this link.



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