HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong says not only is the future bright, it’s never been better.
“I think our economy is the best we’ve ever seen or at least my generation has ever seen. We have a 2.1 percent unemployment rate here in Madison County, about 3 1/2 nationwide. In 2011, we had an unemployment rate of about 8.3 percent in Madison County, so I believe our hard work it has paid off," said Strong.
Strong says 2019 was the year of construction with big projects like $35 million being spent to improve Winchester Road and bridges in the area.
There is also construction of Town Madison, where dirt is being moved with a price tag of $400 million worth of construction, but there are still hundreds on construction projects in the works.
“Infrastructure is probably the number one concern. We have about $350 million in construction currently underway here in Madison County, either in design or construction or recently completed, but we have a lot of roads we need to continue to address," said Strong.
You can’t review the year without talking about space. Chairman Dale Strong recognized Deborah Barnhart, retired CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, for helping Alabama’s number one tourist attraction set a record with more than one million visitors attending in 2019.
“It was a great surprise and a great honor to be honored by Chairman Strong and I think him giving me the Alabama championship ring is really just symbolic of the way Madison County is growing and doing so well, thriving, and becoming a very important part of our world," Barnhart said.
There are big plans for this year 2020 in Madison County. Strong says he hopes next year when he’s standing up at the podium he’ll be able to review the past and talk about how this was the year Madison County in the rocket city was named Space Command headquarters.