Thorsby mayor looking ahead to next four years
By Tracia Bussey
With another election now behind him, Dearl Hilyer is already busy with plans for the next four years of a second term as mayor of Thorsby. When I caught up with him for a short interview, Hilyer was working at his desk on a number of projects that are currently in motion for the improvement of the town, one of which will bring more new businesses into town.
“We’ve been successful in attracting one big business (Dollar General Store), which in turn made the town more attractive to a couple of smaller ones (Thorsby Drug Store and Thorsby Dental Clinic),” Hilyer said. “The plan we’re working now will make Thorsby move up in the priority list for other businesses who are looking for locations.
“As we have become more serious about enforcing a standard of appearance with properties in town, we have gained interest with companies who are looking for a place to locate. These businesses look for towns where their investment will not lose value due to the properties around them being allowed to sink into demise. They are looking for towns who are pushing to improve.”
Hilyer expressed his expectations for the upcoming four years as being high, in the direction the town is going presently, continuing to grow and improve. “I plan to continue going after all the ‘little-to-no-match’ grants that I can obtain for our town,” explained Hilyer. “It’s amazing just how much money is really out there if you search for it and go hard after it.”
Hilyer explained that the grants that are an 80/20 match are like getting $8 for every $2 the town has to spend, and that even better, a 100/0 match grant is basically getting money on a project without costing the town anything.
“People just have to understand that with grant money, it has to be spent on whatever it is designated for,” he said. “That’s why our citizens may see a project get done that may not be a top priority, but if we get money to do it, we are that much better off. There’s a couple of pressing projects that we’ve not been able to obtain any grant money for yet, but we’re not going to give up looking.”
Hilyer wanted to end our interview with this: “I am completely humbled by the outpouring of support and the number of people who voted me to another term. I want them all to know how thankful I am to be given the honor to work for our town another four years. Their support is a driving force that makes me more determined than ever to keep our town moving forward and to give my best for Thorsby.”
–Tracia Bussey is a community columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.