By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Do you ever look beyond the current landscape, the ongoing projects expected to be finished in the next couple years?
Do you ever look, say, twenty years down the road?
Well, Trussville has.
The Trussville City Council on Tuesday approved the final draft of its Trussville 2040 plan, more than 17,000 words about what Trussville hopes to be, and have, by 2040. It is a wish list, of sorts.
Seven committees — education; traffic and transportation infrastructure; family and community; jobs, growth and development; intergovernmental; public safety; and technology and utilities — were formed and involved approximately 200 citizens directly or indirectly through surveys and public meetings. The plan summarizes many key recommendations of the committees.
Here are some highlights from the Trussville 2040 plan:
-For Trussville City Schools, city land for a new Board of Education building. A new building rather than a repurposed building will be paid for with school system capital reserves.
-The city and the school system work together to identify contiguous land in Trussville for the use of an education corridor. This corridor concept includes the possibility of an early college program that yields college credits for students while in high school, a career/technical center for high school academy expansion, a training center for unique and specific workforce training, and a business incubator all in one general location or corridor. In the 2040 Education survey, 63 percent of the respondents were in favor of an Education Corridor in Trussville.
-Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs will be integrated and expanded in the school curriculum.
-There will “most likely” be a need for a new elementary school to prevent Paine Elementary School from overcrowding again. Ideas recommended are a “Stockton Elementary” and/or a “Carrington Elementary” to relieve this future overcrowding.
-A Hewitt-Trussville High School addition known as the “C” wing footprint should be considered to relieve overcrowding at the high school in addition to the consideration of an education corridor.
TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION
-Greenway extension from Civitan Park, connecting to downtown and along Pinchgut Creek
-Greenway extension from Civitan Park north along the Cahaba River toward Stockton
-Multi-use path connection between Roper Road and Camp Coleman Road
-Multi-use path connection along the Deerfoot corridor to an identified, large-scale, regionally significant nature park including bike trails, camping, RV park, etc.
-Multi-use path connection across Highway 11 to the future Greenway extension
-Development of a park and trailhead at property adjacent to Winn Dixie
-Planned trailhead locations that provide access to a major network throughout Trussville, designed to give access to all residents of Trussville and help shape future development
TRUSSVILLE AREA TRANSPORTATION PLAN
-Chalkville Road from I-59 interchange to Green Drive – reconstruct from three lanes to five lanes
-Chalkville Road from Green Drive to Poplar Street – reconstruct from two-lanes to three-lanes
-Longmeadow Drive from its current end west to Trussville Crossings Parkway – three lanes
-Arrowhead Lane from its current end to Deerfoot Parkway – align at Husky Parkway – two-lanes
-Missy Lane Extension from its current end to Bethune Parkway – two-lane connector from Carrington
-Bethune Parkway extension from current end to Windsong area (Coach Drive) – two-lane
-Camp Coleman Road extension from “S” curve to Roper Road – two-lane
-Still Oaks Drive extension t Roper Road – two-lane
-U.S. Highway 11 from I-459 interchange to Tutwiler Drive – widen to six lanes with median
-U.S. Highway 11 from Parkway Drive to north of Deerfoot Parkway – widen to five lanes
-Wimberly Drive extension to Linden Street – two-lane connector to Tutwiler community
-Valley Avenue Extension from Linden Street to Roosevelt Boulevard – two-lane connector
-Tutwiler Drive extension from current end to Roosevelt Boulevard – two-lane connector
-Pinnacle Connector from Roosevelt Boulevard to Edwards Parkway – two-lane connector
-I-59 from I-459 to Deerfoot Parkway – widen to 6-lanes
-Birmingham Northern Beltline – planned expressway from I-59 north thru Clay community
-Edwards Lake Road from Edwards Lake Parkway to Medical Park Drive – widen to five lanes
-Mary Taylor Road from U.S. Highway 11 to railroad – widen to three lanes
-U.S. Highway 11 at Deerfoot Parkway – overpass over U.S. Highway 11 and railroad
-Deerfoot Parkway from U.S. Highway 11 to Happy Hallow Road – 4 lanes w/median
-Deerfoot Parkway from Husky Parkway to Trussville Clay Road – widen to 4 lanes with median
-Southwest Quadrant Loop Road – Beech Street extension to Cedar Lane with connections to Fresh Value Market center
-Northwest Quadrant Loop Road – connector from U.S. Highway 11 to Chalkville Road – two-lanes
-Northeast Quadrant Loop Road – connector from Chalkville Road to U.S. Highway 11 – two-lanes
-Railroad Avenue Extension- connector from current end of Railroad Avenue behind the Municipal complex to Parkway Drive.
Mountain Biking/Nature Trails
If it can be developed, convert the City-owned property on Deerfoot into a nature/walking/biking trail. Utilizing the many grants available for trail building would make this a fairly inexpensive undertaking if the City allows use of the property. We envision a potential botanical garden, bird watching trails, walking trails, mountain biking trails, and educational trails to identify plants and trees.
Mega Indoor Multi-purpose Facility
Create a large (70,000 to 90,000 square feet) indoor multi-purpose facility that would attract events to Trussville which would have a large economic impact on the community. This facility would be a multi-purpose facility that could host events such as volleyball, tennis, pickleball, basketball, and archery tournaments. While this is an expensive project, it has the potential to bring revenue to the City and other businesses.
Special Needs Multi-purpose field
-An outdoor facility that supports children and adults with special needs is recommended. This would be a place for track and field events as well as to play soccer, football, baseball/softball, frisbee, disk golf and more. Hosting the Special Olympics should also be considered.
-Indoor 25-yard Pool and Therapy Pool, Outdoor Lazy River, and Splash Park. This is a project of the Parks and Recreation Department to include an indoor 25-yard pool and therapy pool, outdoor lazy river, and a splash park to be located behind the Civic Center. This would provide the city with a place to have a swim team and host swim meets. It would also ease overcrowding at the current Trussville Pool.
Cultural Arts Center
By 2040, we envision a Performing Arts Theater with seating for 300 to 500. The CAC would be able to house the Arts Council for the Trussville Area (ACTA), and create a new ACTA youth program with classrooms for acting workshops and camps, classrooms for music lessons including piano, violin, and other instruments, as well as lessons for pottery, quilting, painting, and other crafts. The City could make classrooms available for rent for other fine arts activities. In order to support and encourage local artists, the lobby area could be used for displaying the work of local artists. This would allow the Historical Museum to utilize all of the ACTA building which would allow it to open their doors more frequently.
The Fire Department has a proposed 10-year budget plan for all apparatus, vehicle, and major equipment replacement. The plan allows annual payments to be made out of the Fire Department’s operating budget and will ensure that all major equipment in the Fire Department stays in compliance with current standards. The plan should include the following considerations:
o Purchase of a new fire pumper every 2 years
o Adding a new medical transport unit every 5 years
o Replace one staff/support vehicle every year starting in 2020.
o Making regular payments to replace an aerial unit every 10 years
o Replacing 6-8 sets of turnout gear, per year
o Replace five SCBAs every year starting in 2023; 15 are currently on order and will be paid for over the next three years.
o Replacing 1 defibrillator each year starting in 2025; eight of the nine current units are new (2017) and under a service contract through 2025.
-Police vehicles – plan to purchase new vehicles every year with in-vehicle technology. This will ensure enough vehicles to accommodate the department’s staff growth
-Radio System – New portable and mobile radios will need to be purchased to keep up with the evolving communications technology. The end result will be more effective communications interoperability between Police and Fire & Rescue.
-License Plate Readers – The committee would recommend the City continue to invest in LPR technology for high traffic areas of the City based on the current success. Cameras would be available to all Public Safety departments to assist in response and aid. These cameras would also be available to assist with traffic evaluation and monitoring, assisting in the development of plans by the Traffic and Transportation committee.
-A formal, citywide Emergency Preparedness Plan should be developed to educate citizens on how to respond/react in emergency situations.
o The EPP should be made available on the City’s website and shared through the City’s social media accounts
o Should include a map identifying all Public Safety locations throughout the City.
o The EPP should include coordination with local churches, TCS schools, and the Civic Center to be available for shelter or as evacuation sites.
o Encourage local businesses to develop an emergency plan in coordination with the City’s formal EPP.
-Community-wide education for Public Safety should be a priority for both departments.
-An emergency alerting application (phone app) should be offered to alert citizens during an emergency. The committee recommends making the rollout of this application a priority through the EMA app named Everbridge.
-The Committee recommends that the City consider plans to build additional storm shelters to accommodate large crowds at facilities and sporting events.
-The City should also consider that large community developments include one or more storm shelters based on the number of planned residents, built at the expense of the developer.
-The City should mandate that all future community developments locked in by the railroad develop alternative exits for emergency situations.
-As the City’s population continues to grow towards the anticipated 35,000 mark over this 20-year period, the committee recommends the City pursue bringing a hospital or free-standing Emergency Department within City limits to better serve emergency medical needs of its residents.
Here are the 17 key goals, not in any order of priority, found at the end of the Trussville 2040 plan outline:
-Maintain strong financial support of the Trussville City Schools (TCS) in order for TCS to prepare our students for the challenges they face in a continually changing world of technology and of unrest.
-Create an education corridor with educational and training opportunities for citizens of all age groups, and construct new school buildings when appropriate to address the anticipated increased school population.
-Develop programs that recognize the important link between school safety and mental health of school children, and continue existing programs in character development, anti-bullying, and suicide prevention.
-Hire a full-time economic developer, identify data center and technology park sites, develop infrastructure of the parks, explore the creation of a business incubator/accelerator, develop a marketing program with local partners, and create an education-workforce pipeline strategy.
-Work with local and state economic development allies to proactively recruit companies in target sectors, and establish public-private partnerships to create jobs and tax revenue.
-With the passage of Amendment 772 by the State Legislature Alabama cities have greater Constitutional control in economic development, and, therefore, Trussville should analyze how it is currently organized and determine if it should consider additional or alternative methods of organization.
-Continue to address the need for adequate facilities, equipment, and personnel for Police, Fire, and other City departments to provide high quality services as the City continues to grow over the next 20 years.
-Build a new municipal complex that includes a modern city hall to address the increased service demands of citizens based on the expected growth of the City.
-Update and create as necessary the various plans of the City, including Trussville 2040, the land use plan and zoning ordinance, the major street plan, a sidewalk master plan, the downtown master plan, and the capital improvements program.
-Continue on a regular basis to evaluate and address traffic patterns and circulation to minimize congestion and delays on the City’s major corridors.
-Enhance the quality of life by developing a network of sidewalks, bikeways, and greenways that encourages alternative transportation and recreational means for citizens of all ages.
-Ensure that the City maintains adequate and high quality sources of drinking water while examining alternative sources and distribution channels for non-potable uses.
-Provide a venue that will allow both performing arts and competitive sporting events to provide facilities for citizens, to encourage visitors to Trussville, to create economic impact, and to support local merchants.
-Become a leading smart city in Alabama with asset deployment including LED fixtures, network lighting controls, security cameras, and internet access points with software integration enabling assets to function together.
-Create a formal, city-wide Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) to educate citizens on how to respond/react in emergency situations, and to identify locations for the construction of emergency storm shelters.
-Develop a plan to accommodate alternate methods of transportation, including public transportation and electric vehicles.
-Evaluate regularly all neighborhoods to ensure the construction of critical infrastructure and maintenance of such infrastructure.
Included in the 2040 plan was a letter from Mayor Buddy Choat to Trussville citizens. In it, he writes, “Trussville 2040 will not be a static plan that goes on the shelf. We expect there to be regular reviews of the conclusions and recommendations with modifications as time passes.”