FOLEY – Work is starting on Foley’s newest park and other improvements in the newly annexed Mills Community.

The city is clearing four acres of wooded property  in the newly annexed Mills Community, which will become Foley’s newest park. Mills residents voted in August to approve annexation into Foley.

Mayor Ralph Hellmich said the city has put up 55 lights on some Mills streets.

“A lady said it has already made a difference. Before when it was dark out there, people were running around in the yards out there. That has all stopped,” Hellmich said. “She said it’s already made a marked difference with people feeling safer. So streetlights are working and we’ll continue to meet the challenges.”

At a recent meeting with Mills residents, Foley City Councilman Rick Blackwell said the work to clear the park site will improve visibility and provide a space for children to play. 

“The location of the park now is central to this new annexation. I think it’s the ideal place. They’re getting ready to mow it, They’re going to go out there and mow it and we’re going to be able to go out there and look around,” Blackwell said. 

Wayne Dyess, executive director for infrastructure and development, said the project will make the area safer for children playing in the area.

“We want visibility in there too so if your kids are playing. If you can see it from the road, then the police or people around there can see anything going on there that shouldn’t be going on,” Dyess told Mills residents.

Public Works Director Darrell Russell said city crews are working with Baldwin County to make the transition to municipal garbage collection. 

“We are picking up garbage in Mills in the new annexation,” Russell said. “The county’s weaned off. The only thing we’d like to do is trade out cans, which I’ve got my delivery so that’ll be taking place and we’re working with Riviera and the community about the billing because the goal is going from the county to the city.”