The River Region's Wave of the Future!
This week, the Wetumpka Impact Crater Commission was awarded a grant it applied for earlier this year. Gov. Robert Bentley announced the $20,000 award to help study the potential economic impact of a much-discussed interpretive center focusing on the only authenticated impact crater in the eastern United States and one of just 200 such craters worldwide.
The grant is funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The Uni ver sity of Alabama’s Center for Economic Develop ment will conduct the study to determine the economic role the center could play in the plans to increase tourism in the area.
The study will focus on local resources needed to build and maintain the center and provide a strategic plan for making it a reality. Plans are for the center to be built on the Wetumpka Welcome Center property on U.S. Highway 231, formerly a state rest area. The property includes the 15.07 acres occupied by the rest area and another 8.3 acres between the developed parcel and an old road-bed at the base of the bluff.
“Alabama is blessed with varied topography and diverse natural features including rugged mountains and sandy beaches,” Bentley said. “Add to that mix a gigantic dent from a meteorite and our state becomes truly unique.”
Funding also will support development of a website relating to the impact crater and exhibition center.
Local agencies are providing the $20,000 in matching funds required by the grant.
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