• Longtime Priceville police chief to retire

    From The Decatur Daily
    by Evan Belanger
    PRICEVILLE — Longtime Priceville Police Chief Billy Peebles will retire next week after more than 31 years on the force and more than 41 years in law enforcement.
    Peebles, 63, will step down from the town’s top law enforcement job effective Wednesday.
    “There comes a time in a person’s life when it’s [...]


  • Priceville seeking OK to borrow $9 million

    From The Decatur Daily
    by Deangelo McDaniel
    PRICEVILLE — The town of Priceville is seeking authorization from a Morgan County circuit judge to borrow $9 million to construct a 66,000-square-foot recreation center near North Bethel Road and East Upper River Road.
    A hearing on the matter will be held June 9 at 10 a.m. in the Morgan County [...]


  • MAPCO planned for Priceville, Bojangles’ possible

    From The Decatur Daily
    by Evan Belanger
    PRICEVILLE — In addition to significant residential growth, commercial development is on the rise in this once-sleepy town that has nearly doubled its population in 14 years.
    A new MAPCO Mart convenience store is in the works for the southeast corner of Mountain Valley Road and Point Mallard Parkway, said [...]

    June 2017
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Planned community: Housing boom in Priceville

From The Decatur Daily
by Evan Belanger

PRICEVILLE – Local officials say new schools and easy interstate access are contributing to a housing boom here as a local developer kicks off a new planned community that could bring as many as 200 homes to the market.

Decatur-based Davidson Homes officially opened this month its Bakers Farm subdivision off East Upper River Road on land adjacent to Priceville High School, which opened last fall.

Davidson Homes Realtor Aimee Dial said the first phase of the subdivision will bring 67 homes to market, with another 18 in the second phase and an estimated 111 in the third phase.

With prices ranging from $158,000 to $300,000, up to 200 homes are possible in the subdivision, she said, depending on whether larger or smaller lots prove more popular with buyers.

The planned community, which will feature walking trails, fishing ponds, a clubhouse and swimming pool, is the latest in a series of new subdivisions in the area.

Mayor Melvin Duran said homes are still going up in the nearby Churchill Downs and Cove Creek subdivisions, and Dial said Davidson’s 107-lot Olde River Crossing subdivision, started three years ago, has just one lot remaining.

“It’s been a really good seller, so that’s why we’re doing Bakers Farm,” she said of Olde River, estimating Davidson Homes sells two to three homes a month in Priceville, with average time on the market usually 30 days or less.

In Olde River, resident Elvin Jones, a professional film editor who works on Amazon Original movies, said he was attracted to the community from Decatur more than a year ago for its schools, ease of access to the interstate and rural setting.

“I have nothing but good things to say about it,” he said. “You get the rural feeling and the convenience of the interstate being right here.”

Jones’ youngest child is a freshman at Priceville High.

The new home construction shows in Priceville’s population growth. From 2000 to 2014, the town’s population grew 83 percent, from 1,674 to 3,063, according to census data.

Duran said the new high school and a new elementary school, which opened in 2000, were significant players in the influx of new residents. Other factors, he said, included the affordability of homes in Morgan County compared to homes in Madison and Huntsville, access to the interstate and the availability of sewer and other utilities.

“Before you had sewer, if you developed a subdivision, it had to be at least an acre per lot,” he said. “Now, you can put three to four houses on an acre.”

Residential growth in Priceville comes as Decatur development officials scrounge for new home construction, hoping two new high schools and streamlined building approval processes will encourage homebuilders.

Decatur Development Director Wally Terry said new homes and residential growth in Priceville is a positive for the River City, because those residents shop in Decatur, generating tax revenue. But residential growth is still a priority for Decatur development officials, he said.

“We want to grow our community. We want to provide homes to support the schools, so that’s not negating what we want as a community,” he said. “But if they’re around us and coming in, there is a benefit to them shopping here.”

From 2010 to 2015, Decatur’s population fell by 267 residents, contributing to Morgan County’s flat population growth of 0.5 percent over the same time period, an increase of just 79 total residents countywide.

Despite the flat population growth, home sales countywide were up 27 percent over the same time period, with 1,370 sales in 2015, according to the Alabama Center for Real Estate. Home sales increased another 8 percent last year, to 1,482, as housing supply fell 11 percent, which could signal new residential growth.

Dial said homebuyers from outside Priceville are about an even mix, with roughly half moving from Decatur and roughly half moving from the Madison-Huntsville area, where home prices are higher.

“We’ve had a lot of folks coming from the Madison area, because it’s just a little crowded over there,” she said.