TUSCUMBIA — Mayor Kerry Underwood is adamant about helping grow the city's sales tax base while helping increase the exposure of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Underwood met recently with the hall of fame board of directors to discuss a proposal that could benefit both the hall of fame and the city.
He's asked Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle to assist in setting up a meeting with RCP Companies, which is developing the $350 million MidCity Huntsville entertainment complex at the location of the old Madison Square Mall.
The mayor wants to approach RCP Companies about making an investment in the Shoals, perhaps around the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
"He (Battle) told me he would be willing to make that a part of their total vision for the region and would schedule a sit-down with them," Underwood said.
The board has agreed to allow Underwood to approach the company about utilizing land behind the hall of fame for some type of development, whether it be a music venue, an educational center or something else.
The idea is to increase traffic around the hall of fame, increase visits to the hall of fame, and help the tax base of Tuscumbia.
"I would like to hear their ideas," Underwood said of RCP Companies officials.
The board agreed to allow Underwood to work with RCP Companies, but the board will have the final say on any project on their property.
"We certainly see you as a partner," board Chairwoman Sara Hamlin said. "We could not operate without the support of the city of Tuscumbia."
No date has been set for the meeting, but Underwood said he would like to see it happen soon.
Hall of fame board member Judy Hood said Huntsville needs Shoals musicians to make their entertainment venture work. The complex is expected to include music venues, including an 8,500-seat amphitheater.
"It's a natural fit for that partnership," Hood said.
In return, Huntsville will urge tourists to visit the Shoals and it's numerous music-related attractions.
It was the city of Tuscumbia that provided land for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in the mid-1980s.
Debbie Wilson, executive director of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios Museum in Sheffield, said she expects the Music Cities study to be completed sometime in May. She expects to receive an update on the progress this week.
"I think Mayor Underwood is on the right track," Wilson said.
She said there have been past conversations with the Huntsville Convention and Visitors Bureau about working together for each area's benefit.
Wilson said MidCity Huntsville will provide additional opportunities for Shoals musicians and increase tourism in the Shoals.