For years this has played out in Gardendale. Folks want more restaurants and shopping, better schools, better parks and more business.
They don’t want more taxes, more traffic, more congestion, more population, more car washes, more banks, etc.
That’s been the battle for years in Gardendale and for a long time it has stifled real improvement and growth within the city.
I believe local politicians should always be held accountable for the decisions they make. Democracy suffers if folks don’t know what is going on within their local government.
We certainly try to make folks aware of those issues at the Herald.
But there is a time to take a breath and a step back and appreciate where we are and how far we have come.
To get more restaurants and shopping, better schools, better parks and more business, we also have to have a larger tax base, more traffic, more congestion and more people moving to Gardendale.
The new Magnolia City Place that will bring more shopping and at least two great additions to the Gardendale restaurant scene in Olive Garden and Long Horn Steakhouse is an important step, but the trump card for growth in Gardendale is the new Bill Noble Park.
When that plan went through, you had a Mayor and City Council that went all in.
It is a defining moment for Gardendale and its growth.
The success of the park is secure for local kids, but it is critical that Bill Noble Park becomes a regular destination for travel teams and tournaments. Hence the professional management of the park.
It is also critical that the park spurs development.
Over the next 36 months, North Gardendale will be transformed and will transform Gardendale, in my opinion, into more of a Cullman than a Hoover.
This growth is good for Gardendale. It will be good for the tax base and growing city services. It will be good for folks who would like to stay close to home to eat and shop without having to hop on I-65 and it will be good for our schools.
This type of growth will also benefit the local and existing small business community who will benefit from more folks coming to Gardendale.
Will that bring a movie theater or family fun center to Gardendale? It will give Gardendale a better shot at them. Those types of businesses gravitate to economics and population growth. They need consistent volume to succeed and be profitable.
The Herald has never shied away from combing through public records and holding Gardendale’s Mayor and City Council accountable for their decisions and I will never apologize for doing so.
However, I also don’t shy away from pointing out when they have moved Gardendale in a good direction.
It took vision, but also guts to go all in on a 30 million plus bond issue for the park.
Mayor Hogeland and this council deserve credit for having the guts to go all in and position Gardendale for this growth.
Are the bond issues expensive and are the stakes high?
Yes, much is riding on the success of Bill Noble Park and the development of North Gardendale.
But for the first time in the 20 years I have lived in Gardendale, the city is now on the cusp of meaningful growth and change. You can see it and feel it.
This Mayor and City Council deserve credit for that.