Montevallo Development Cooperative District (MDCD) is a unique partnership between the City of Montevallo, Shelby County and University of Montevallo. The MDCD was created in 2012 under the Capital Improvement Cooperative Districts Section of the Alabama Code. The purpose of the District is to promote economic development, tourism, education, recreation, the arts, historic preservation, livability and healthy and active lifestyles in Montevallo. The district is to facilitate capital improvements by acquisition, construction, and installation throughout the City.
Montevallo and the MDCD are touted as an effective model for such districts by Main Street Alabama, Alabama Communities of Excellence, and other economic development organizations. MDCD serves as an example of cooperation among public entities to leverage resources and maximize tax dollars for all citizens.
A three-member board governs the MDCD with each board member serving a four-year term and each board member able to serve multiple terms if reappointed by their respective entities. Dee Woodham, Chair, has represented the City of Montevallo since the MDCD inception. Reed Prince currently represents Shelby County and has done so since inception. Mary Ellen Heuton has represented the University of Montevallo since 2018, replacing DeAnna Smith, who served as board member from inception in 2012 until 2018.
The MDCD is funded in a variety of ways. Each of the three entities individually or in combination may provide funding for particular projects. The MDCD's only continual source of funding comes from an appropriation of 90% of the City of Montevallo's 2011 1% sales tax. The MDCD has completed a number of critically important projects, each with differing levels of financial commitment from the three entities. The first project was the North Boundary Street Promenade, a storm-water management and sidewalk improvement project that links the University to Main Street to Orr Park. Next, the MDCD purchased the old Alabama Power building on Main Street to bring the University and Main Street together in the center of our community. This project, known as "UMOM" (University of Montevallo on Main) shows the power and flexibility of the MDCD: the City, County and University own the building equally, but Shelby County and the University of Montevallo bore 100% of the renovation costs. UMOM was renovated for classrooms and office space, bringing university students downtown and encouraging them to spend money in local businesses. This project later added a public green space, Owl's Cove Park, for the entire community to enjoy. Numerous community events are held here, including the popular "Friday Nights at the Cove." Other projects include the construction of a NCAA regulation softball stadium, a NCAA regulation track, field and lacrosse facility, and a vibrant restaurant on the promenade within a building owned by the MDCD. A pocket park was created at this site, becoming Bicentennial Park. The MDCD also funded the City of Montevallo's portion of the Main Street streetscape project, which allowed receipt of a federal grant through the Alabama Department of Transportation that improved traffic flow, pedestrian traffic, parking, ADA accessibility and aesthetics of traffic control features in downtown Montevallo. The streetscape project, along with the efforts of Main Street Alabama, the surge of private investments and an improving economy have contributed to a 40% increase in sales tax from the Main Street district in the past year. The largest expenditures since inception from MDCD, in order of cost, have been paving and sidewalks throughout the City, City Hall and the North Boundary Street Promenade improvements.
MDCD has invested over $11 million in the City of Montevallo since its creation, with over $6 million coming from the City and the remainder approximately evenly split between the University and the County. In addition to this direct MDCD investment, the University is investing approximately $25 million in the Center for the Arts & $5 million in a new College of Business building. Over $50 million has been invested in Montevallo in the last few years by private investors, the University, Shelby County, Alabama National Cemetery Overlook Support Committee, American Village, federal government transportation funds & MDCD.
2019 MDCD projects include: paving, sidewalks, Highway 25 crosswalk engineering work, two bridges at Shoal Creek Park (in partnership with the County and private donors), trail work at Shoal Creek Park and a city-wide strategic planning initiative.
The MDCD meets on the second Monday of each month at 1:00 at the Parnell Memorial Library in the Parnell boardroom. All minutes and annual audits are posted on the City's website. Our community is always welcome at our meetings and we are always looking for more volunteers to contribute to the improvement of and future investment in our City.