Redevelopment committee formed to bring life back to Russellville downtown

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - For all of the positives four lane highways and interstates brought to this nation, they also brought a negative element. Towns and cities across the country saw a sharp decline in their downtown shopping areas.

The city of Russellville is no exception, but leaders are coming up with a plan to rejuvenate their downtown.

Over the last several years, many downtown businesses have closed. To stop the exodus, city leaders created a Downtown Redevelopment Committee.

“It`s been a slow process,” explained Russellville Mayor David Grissom. “I wanted to see what other people have been successful at before I jumped into it."

With the committee in place, Grissom said the city will move forward with developing a master plan. The first phase will be a retail study to see what they need downtown.

The seven member committee will hold public meetings and bring input to the table.

“There are a lot of great ideas out there that maybe I haven`t thought of or the committee hasn`t thought of that we would like to see happen downtown,” stated Grissom.

Once Russellville creates a downtown district, they plan to look at updating the zoning regulations.

Grissom said they may even change an ordinance which keeps people from living above businesses.

The committee is made up of downtown business owners and home owners with a direct impact on what is going on.

The city of Russellville is also applying for federal transportation grants to help with beautification efforts in the downtown area.