Montgomery's Newest Park: a less desirable neighbor

Maxwell Boulevard park is next to Salvation Army


By Alabama News Network

(Montgomery) -- Mayor Todd Strange says the city wants Salvation Army to move its shelter on Maxwell Boulevard, but has not found a location agreeable to both parties.

     Strange wants the charity to move because the city has been aggressively marketing the area for development. The newest city park is due to open early in April, and it is right next door to the Salvation Army. Strange says the city will likely use trees and shrubs to hide the shelter from the park.

 "What we really need to do is get them to focus on job training, and they've got space to do that whether it's partnering with with job corps or some other institution that can do that. Really give them a job skill and maybe give them some transportation to transport them to these job opportunities," said Strange.    "Boat-ramp" park is the informal name of the park. Volunteers from the Alabama Power Foundation will work on the park Friday and Saturday, and return for two days in March to finish the work. The Foundation is also donating $10,000 for materials.

Captain Mark Gillam says they are working on it.

"We are working with the community and talked to the mayor about possibly opening up some service where we can do some job training. We're working with area churches and agencies to maybe one day be able to do training in the day time hours," said Gillam.

And while there have been alternate locations discussed for the Salvation Army, right now they are staying put.

"While we are here we want to be good neighbors, and we will continue to do so," said Gillam.


     The existing boat ramp was built illegally years ago. City officials now own it and hope a boat rental company will open location there to rent non-motorized boats like canoes.

     Strange says there will not be any extraordinary security at the park, which will have only daylight operating hours.The park is expected to open in early April.




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