2018 State of the County: Chairman Talks Current, Future Growth

From the News Courier Story by Adam Smith March 1, 2018


Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough said Wednesday the county has come a long way in a short time, but “we’re not there yet.”

Since taking office in November 2014, Yarbrough has watched Limestone become an industrial hotbed. Just a month and a half removed from the announcement of a $1.6-billion Toyota-Mazda manufacturing project in Huntsville-annexed Limestone, the chairman said he believes more growth is on the way.

He told those in attendance he’s working 12 projects and receives regular calls from companies interested in Limestone County.  

“All we’ve accomplished is to get ourselves into a position to succeed,” he said. “We’ve worked so incredibly hard to get ourselves to a point to exceed all expectations.”

Yarbrough made his comments at the annual State of the County address at the Limestone County Event Center. The event was presented by the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce and accounting firm CDPA.

The chairman, who is up for re-election this year, hit several highlights from his time in office, with industrial development getting the lion’s share of attention. New Toyota Corollas and Polaris off-road vehicles were on display at the event.

The new Toyota facility will produce an estimated 1,000 vehicles per day. Yarbrough spoke enthusiastically about the regional partnership that not only helped land the facility but also the amount of work to be done in terms of infrastructure improvements.

For example, Old Highway 20 will be five-laned from the manufacturing site near Powell Road to County Line Road. Greenbrier Parkway will be completed all the way to Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road near Interstate 65. Lastly, two CSX rail spurs will be built to accommodate the operation.

Several times Yarbrough remarked on the sheer enormity of the project. He said an estimated 7 million yards of dirt would have to be graded. That equates to a half-million truckloads of dirt.

Those infrastructure projects will also equate to considerable financial impact in the three years building up to the completion of the facility. He explained new industrial workers and residents will need doctors, attorneys and retail workers.

 “Construction workers will stop at the convenience stores,” he said. “The 1-cent sales tax on the construction project can’t be abated, so that’s $14 million to the schools.”

Yarbrough said residential growth will also continue on its current upward trend. He pointed out there were more homes sold in 2016 than any other year in the history of the county. Last year, he said, that number increased by 21 percent.

The chairman was introduced by two longtime friends — Steve Dorning, pastor of Friendship Methodist Church, and Jeff Hodges, president of First National Bank. Both said they appreciated Yarbrough’s leadership and praised his commitment to hard work.

Yarbrough said his desire to succeed comes down to the most important person in his life — his 4-1/2-year-old grandson.

“That’s what drives me. I want him to have the opportunity to grow, meet someone, have a family and do it here in Limestone County,” he said. “I love this county. I am passionate about Limestone County. My hope is that you would expect nothing less from the chairman of Limestone County.”


Read the entire story HERE.

Watch Chairman Yarbrough’s full State of the County Address HERE.


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