North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

August 10, 2012

Progress 2012: Gas station a boost for Morris

By Nathan Prewett
North Jefferson News

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Morris is a small but sturdy town, according to Mayor Craig Drummonds, who sees a lot of potential for growth. 

“It is on the move,” he said. “Things are planned for down the road. We’ve got a lot of things in the works that will come about soon and I only see Morris growing commercially. Also, that will increase revenue. The town will be able to improve on the services. I believe that we are in a good, good position right now. 

When the recession hit,  the budget the town’s budget was hit hard. But in spite of this, it has pulled through well, Drummonds said. 

“It has been tight,” he said. “When the housing market crashed and we went into the recession, it affected the small towns and especially a lot of the municipalities in the same situation. Gas prices have hurt. The main thing is operating the police and fire departments 24 hours, and gas prices have really cut into our budget. But overall, we’re good and we’re making the most of the money we have.” 

While the budget has to be watched carefully, revenue has been relatively stable. The building of the new Shell gas station several months ago has helped bring in revenue. It has received a strong welcome from residents as it provides fuel at a convenient location. 

“The new Shell station has really helped,” Drummonds said. “It’s an asset to the town.” 

Drummonds said there are new projects for Morris coming up soon but that he’s not at liberty to disclose them yet. Announcements will be made in several weeks, he said. 

Morris has made improvements in its fire and police departments. Equipment and vehicles are upgraded, with additional radios and electronic devices available to firefighters and policemen. 

“We as a group have updated our police vehicles,” he said. “Same with the fire trucks as well. We have a great group of volunteer firemen. We have advance life support on the medical side, which is a big asset to the town. Our police are doing an outstanding job. Very professional. We’ve had the same group of police officers for several years now, which is a major accomplishment.”