HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -Huntsville City Council Candidate Devyn Keith addressed a development idea discussed in a public meeting in north Huntsville Tuesday night, calling attention to the lack of commitment from businesses and the massive dollar amount tied to the project.
Keith's opponent, Huntsville District One Councilman Dr. Richard Showers, held a meeting to reveal a big development for north Huntsville. Questions surrounded the plan, like who the tenants would be and where it was in the pipeline. A post on Showers' Facebook page told citizens the public meeting would address criticism that he has not made plans for north Huntsville.
The Showers camp has said that published renderings of the project do not represent commitments, just possibilities.
That strikes Keith, who tells us, "From my understanding, there are no national retail stores that have guaranteed to come to north Huntsville. That's important because a chain brings another chain brings another chain brings another chain."
Keith says he'd like to see community involvement and discussion from the earliest phases of any development, "I think it's wonderful that people are asking questions. People should always be civically engaged. But we want to make it to where people are proactively engaged and know about ideas beforehand."
But Keith emphasizes one aspect of discussed development: the Showers camp has purported it to be worth a billion dollars.
Keith says, "If it's going to affect all the citizens of District One, all the citizens of District One should at some point be able to come to the table. That's why I don't believe this development is ready to come to north Huntsville."
"And again, using the terminology, billion dollars," he continues, "Cannot stress the gravity of that enough. That's almost four times the size of the city of Huntsville's overall budget."
That dollar figure is just one of the big question marks left after the Showers meeting.
Showers and Keith will face each other in a runoff on October 4th.