Representing Winston, Walker and Jefferson counties is a blessing. My grandparents lived in Arley and are buried at Arley, along with my mother and brother. Growing up in rural Arley in Winston County has given me a perspective that many people don’t have. Our rural areas have needs that have gone for years not being served.
In 2014, when I was running for my first office, I met David Jones, director of Capstone Rural Medical Clinic at a Parrish local bank. That meeting allowed me to gain a foothold and better perspective on medical needs in rural Alabama. Parrish had a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). That facility served the southern portion of Walker County and has locations now in Parrish, Nauvoo, Jasper, Arley and Double Springs. The FQHC does not require or use state, county or city dollars to operate. It uses federal dollars, Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, VA, Tricare and a host of other insurances. Capstone provides quality health care for their patients.
The 14th District now has 4 FQHCs. Capstone – Arley opened on Dec. 2, 2019 and Capstone – Double Springs opened Jan. 9, 2020. The recruitment of medical care for rural areas is critical for health, jobs and growth of your community. The Parrish medical clinic received $1,400,000 in grants to build a new facility, and the Arley location now utilizes the refurbished Parrish facility that was moved to Arley. The Nauvoo facility is in a refurbished building. The Double Springs facility is in the health department. I along with others are extremely proud to bring new health care to our rural areas. The Arley and Double Springs locations are looking for full-time and part-time van drivers to deliver scheduled patients that do not have transportation to the FQHCs. Parrish and Nauvoo already have van service. My goal now is to recruit an ambulance service to be stationed in east Winston County.
Reducing county costs and improving our iconic infrastructure are important. Duncan Bridge, which is 60 years old, will now be a State of Alabama-maintained bridge. The iconic structure is shown in publications for Walker and Winston counties. Duncan Bridge was the largest county-maintained bridge in the State of Alabama. When you travel to Arley from Walker County, you are on State Highway 157, which changes to County Road 41 in Winston County. Duncan Bridge is a $30,000,000 dollar bridge that costs the county $60,000 to $80,000 per year to inspect and over $1,000,000 to paint plus yearly maintenance costs. The now state-maintained bridge and road will result in substantial savings for Winston County. The State of Alabama has agreed to extend State Highway 157 from the Walker County line to the other side of the bridge and maintain the road and the bridge. The bridge will boost tourism and allow the savings to be utilized for improvements in other areas of the county. The state has not taken over any bridges in over 50 years, nor has it converted county roads to state roads, with the exception of two road swaps in Jefferson County. Senator Greg Reed and I are very proud of this accomplishment.
RC&D grants have been granted to numerous schools and towns in Winston County. Blue Cross – Blue Shield Be Healthy grants have been granted to Lynn and Double Springs Middle School. A new track has been installed in Addison.
The 14th District has two public libraries - Arley and Carbon Hill. Both libraries have received grants for the last couple of years. Quality internet is located inside each facility and in the parking lots to allow people access to high speed internet.
Senior centers have been established in Arley and Addison. Double Springs has 200 quality jobs for citizens. Eleven new jobs will be created by Capstone Medical. The unemployment rate in Winston County and Walker County range from 2.9 to 3.2 percent. We now have the lowest unemployment rate in history.
A new interstate truck stop and restaurant is located at the Carbon Hill-Nauvoo I-22 exit. State and local officials are working on interstate lights. Mava’s Café from Carbon Hill has a new additional location in Lynn, Arley has a new restaurant and Addison has a Jack’s.
Each 14th District public school has received grant funding sponsored by the Alabama legislature for signs, supplies, robotics, structural improvements, etc. I am proud of the physical disability and sensory disability programs at Oakman. The sensory disability program is one of the few in the state and has received grants. Cordova’s robotics program has received funding each year, and Parrish started a STEM program. Smart Boards were provided to Corner High School and Bagley. The economy has been so good that more income taxes and sales taxes have gone into the Education Trust Fund, which has allowed teacher raises, stable insurance premiums and more technology in our schools. Thank you, President Trump.
Road funding for the rural communities has dramatically improved for smaller towns. Arley, Addison, Double Springs, Natural Bridge, Lynn, Nauvoo, Eldridge, Kansas, Carbon Hill, Parrish and Cordova due to the funding formula approved by the Alabama legislature. Each small community received the same first 25 percent of the 8.25 percent municipal share as Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery. Rural received more.
Arley lost a true patriot and supporter this year - Billy Wadsworth, my brother, who was the county’s number one fan. The community, in lieu of flowers, came together and built the Billy Wadsworth Memorial Basketball Court, which is a fenced NBA-size basketball court with four goals and two shuffleboard games that are utilized by the Arley-Smith Lake community. It would make Billy proud. Billy loved, and the community loved back. Hamner Park is an asset to the community.
Volunteer fire departments in Winston, Walker and Jefferson counties all received grant funding, and some received RC&D grants.
Veterans’ banners were first placed in the State of Alabama in Arley and now cover all the Winston County towns. Carbon Hill, Jasper and other communities in Walker County now have veterans’ banners honoring our veterans. We are proud of our veterans. Thank you, Banner Lady, for working with other communities.
The civic spirit began in the 14th District, and people want to give back. Constables want to help their community and work with towns and cities to provide support. The goal of the upcoming year is to increase civic sprit so that our rural areas can continue to grow. Without citizen involvement, we cannot move forward. I can be reached at 205-712-1792 for ideas.
I challenge every citizen to get involved and continue to help your community. You will make progress and help your fellow man. We are proud of 2019 and look forward to new ideas and growth in 2020. You can make this happen. Your community wants you and needs you.
Representative Tim Wadsworth
House District 14 – Serving Winston, Walker and Jefferson counties
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.