greenLRChapter 2 - Prerequisites
Chapter 4 - Planning ProcessgreenR

CHAPTER 3

2009 Marshall County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan


Chapter 3 — Community Profiles

3.1 Federal Advisory Guidance for Community Profiles
3.2 Summary of Plan Updates
3.3 Geographic Setting and History
3.4 Climate
3.5 Government
3.6 Demographics
3.7 Economy
3.8 Utilities
3.9 Media
3.10 Transportation

3.1 Federal Advisory Guidance for Community Profiles

This chapter of the Plan addresses the advisory on page 27 of the FEMA Local Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance, July 1, 2008, which suggests community profile information be included to provide context for understanding the plan:

"The planning team should consider including a current description of the jurisdiction in this section or in the introduction of the plan. The general description can include a socio-economic, historic, and geographic profile to provide a context for understanding the mitigation actions that will be implemented to reduce the jurisdiction's vulnerability."

Back To Top

3.2 Summary of Plan Updates

Table 3-1 summarizes changes made to the 2004 plan as a result of the 2009 plan update, as follows:

Table 3-1. Summary of Plan Updates

Section

Change

3.3

Geographic Setting and History

Update descriptions, maps, and data

3.4

Climate

Update descriptions and data

3.5

Government

Update descriptions, maps, and data

3.6

Demographics

Update descriptions, maps, and data

3.7

Economy

Update descriptions, map, and data

3.8

Utilities

Update descriptions and data

3.9

Media

Update descriptions, map, and data

3.10

Transportation

Update descriptions, map, and data


Back To Top

3.3 Geographic Setting and History

Marshall County

On January 9, 1836 Marshall County, Alabama was created by the state legislature. Marshall County was named for Chief Justice John Marshall. There have been four county seats - Claysville (1836), Marshall (1838), Warrenton (1841) and the current seat, Guntersville (1848).

Map 3-1. Marshall County

map3-1"

Marshall County, population 87,644 (Census projection 2007), is located in rural northeast Alabama as shown in Map 3-2. Marshall County is not part of any surrounding metropolitan area. The County is bordered on the northeast by Jackson County, on the east by DeKalb County, on the southeast by Etowah County, on the southwest by Blount and Cullman Counties, on the west by Morgan County and on the northwest by Madison County. Marshall County is located approximately 65 miles from Birmingham, Alabama; 180 miles from Montgomery, Alabama; 35 miles from Huntsville, Alabama; 330 miles from Mobile, Alabama; 98 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee; 150 miles from Atlanta, Georgia; 400 miles from New Orleans, Louisiana; and 665 miles from Dallas, Texas.

Map 3-2. Location of Marshall County

map3-2

The County has an area of approximately 627 square miles with 56 square miles covered by Guntersville Reservoir. 173,800 acres of Marshall County's 363,700 acres are forestland. The County is divided into three physiographic divisions - sandstone plateaus, rough mountain slopes, and limestone valleys. From the southwest to the northeast across the center of the County is an anticlinal valley. It is approximately 3 miles wide. From the northeast through the valley to Guntersville is the Tennessee River. The river turns northwestward from Guntersville and flows through a valley cut by its flow. The anticlinal valley and the Tennessee River Valley cut the County into three segments. Deep, steep-walled geologic erosion channels dissected the undulating to rolling plateaus. Rough mountain slopes extend into the limestone valleys from the edges of the plateaus. North of the Tennessee River lies Gunters Mountain, to the east of the anticlinal valley is Sand Mountain, and to the west of the valley is Brindley Mountain. Gunters Mountain is the highest plateau. Most of the County drains into the Tennessee River. The County's most southern portion drains to the southwest to the branches of the Locust Fork or the Black Warrior River. Map 3-2 "Topography" shows the major physiographic features of Marshall County.

Map 3-3. Topography

map3-3

Map 3-4. Municipalities

map3-4

Marshall County is comprised of the following seven incorporated communities:

City of Albertville

The City of Albertville, population 19,536 (Census estimate 2007), is located in southeastern Marshall County. The City is 26.0 square miles of which 25.9 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles is water. Albertville is at an elevation of 1,089 feet. The City of Albertville, named for one of its founders, Thomas Albert, had its real beginning around 1881 when L.S. Emmett moved there from Georgia and set up the City's first large store. Albertville was incorporated on February 18, 1881 with W.M. Coleman serving as first mayor. One of the worst tornadoes to ever touch down in Alabama almost completely destroyed Albertville on April 24, 1908. The City recovered, and today is the largest city in Marshall County.

City of Arab

The City of Arab, population 7,691 (Census estimate 2007), is located in western Marshall County as shown in Map 3-4. The City is 12.9 square miles. It is comprised of 12.8 square miles of land and only 0.1 square miles of water. Arab has an elevation of 1,100 feet and is situated atop Brindley Mountain. The founder of Arab, Stephen Tuttle Thompson, was appointed postmaster. One of his first duties was to apply to Washington, D.C. for the incorporation of Thompson's Falls. Three names were chosen for consideration: Ink, Bird and Arad. Arad was chosen but was accidentally written Arab. The error was never corrected. Arab was incorporated in 1892.

City of Boaz

The City of Boaz, population 8,213 (Census estimate 2007), is located in southeastern Marshall County as shown in Map 3-4. The City is 12.2 square miles of which 12.1 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles is water. Boaz is situated on top of the Sand Mountain plateau at an elevation of 1,089 feet. Boaz was incorporated in 1897.


Town of Douglas

The Town of Douglas, population 579 (Census estimate 2007), is located in southern Marshall County as shown in Map 3-4. The Town has a total area of 3.1square miles of which, 3.1squaremiles of it is land and less than 0.1 square miles is water. Many of the residents of Douglas work in the surrounding communities and the Huntsville metro area.

Town of Grant

The Town of Grant, population 689 (Census estimate 2007), is located in northeast Marshall County as shown in Map 3-4. The Town is 1.8 square miles and is comprised solely of land. Grant is situated on top of Gunter Mountain at an elevation of 1,310 feet overlooking Guntersville Lake, the Tennessee River and historic Kennamer Cove. Grant takes its name from the U.S. Post Office that was established on May 18, 1887 to serve the citizens of Gunter Mountain. The post office was named for President Ulysses S. Grant. The Town of Grant was later incorporated in 1945.

City of Guntersville

The City of Guntersville, population 8,267 (Census estimate 2007), is located in central Marshall County as shown in Map 3-4. The City is 40.6 square miles of which 23.6square miles of it is land and 17.0square miles of it is water. The City is located at the southernmost point of the Tennessee River onLake Guntersville, formed by the Guntersville Dam. Guntersville was founded by German immigrant John Gunter, the wealthy owner of a salt mine in the early 1800s. In order to obtain more land to mine, Gunter struck a deal with the Cherokee tribe that inhabited the area. As part of the deal, Gunter married the daughter of the tribe's chief and agreed to give salt to the tribe. A town sprung up next to the mine and was named after Gunter. The City was incorporated in 1847.

Town of Union Grove

The Town of Union Grove, population 98 (Census estimate 2007), is located in western Marshall County as shown in Map 3-4. The Town is 0.6 square miles and is comprised solely of land. Union Grove sits at an elevation of 1,027 feet. The majority of Union Grove's residents are employed in the surrounding communities and the Huntsville area.

Back To Top

3.4 Government

The Marshall County Commission, with the courthouse offices located in Guntersville, is composed of a five member Board: one Chairman and four Commissioners that are elected by the voters in each of the geographic districts. The Chairman is elected from the County at-large. The entire Commission serves a four-year term, which is staggered.

All municipalities are governed by a mayor-council form of government, as described below:

· The City of Albertville is governed by a mayor and a five-member city council elected at-large.

· The Arab City Council is comprised of a mayor and five council members who stand for election every four years. Members represent "places" or "seats" rather than running from a geographic district. Elections are city-wide.

· The City of Boaz is governed by a mayor and a five-member city council elected at-large.

· The Town of Douglas is governed by a mayor and five-member town council elected at-large.

· The Town of Grant is governed by a mayor and a five-member town council elected at-large; they serve four year terms.

· The City of Guntersville is governed by a full time mayor and seven council members elected by district.

· The Town of Union Grove is governed by a mayor and a five-member town council elected at-large.

Back To Top

3.5 Climate

Marshall County's climate is humid with cold winters and hot summers. The average annual rainfall is 52 inches. The mean temperature is 62 degrees Fahrenheit. The mean annual low is 44 degrees Fahrenheit and the mean high is 79 degrees Fahrenheit in July. Table 3-2 shows the weather observations for Marshall County.


Table 3-2. Weather Observations

Item

Observation

Average Winter Temperature

43.8° F

Average Winter Minimum Temperature

33.0° F

Lowest Temperature (January 21, 1985)

-11° F

Average Summer Temperature

78.2° F

Average Summer Maximum Temperature

89.5° F

Highest Temperature (July 17, 1980)

106° F

Total Annual Precipitation

68.5 inches

Heaviest One-Day Rainfall (July 9, 1946)

6.30 inches

Average Season Snowfall

1.9 inches

Prevailing Wind

6 mph

Source: SE Regional Climate Center

Back To Top

3.6 Demographics

Population Growth and Density

Marshall County has experienced an increase in population over recent decades. In 2000, the population of the County was 82,231, a 16% increase over the 1990 level of 70,832. The 2007 population estimate was 87,644, a population increase of 7% over 2000. Table 3-3 contains the populations of the County and municipalities and their percent increase from 1990 to 2007 according to the U. S. Census. Chart 3-1 and Map 3-5 show the most recent U. S. Census 2007 Population Estimates by jurisdiction.

Table 3-3. Population Change from 1990 to 2007

Jurisdiction

1990

2000

Number Change

Percent Change

2007

(estimate)

Number Change

Percent Change

Marshall

70,832

82,231

11,399

16%

87,644

5,413

7%

Albertville

14,507

17,247

2740

19%

19,536

2,289

13%

Arab

6,321

7,174

826

13%

7,691

517

7%

Boaz

6,928

7,411

483

7%

8,213

802

11%

Douglas

474

530

56

12%

579

49

9%

Grant

638

665

27

4%

689

24

4%

Guntersville

7,038

7,395

357

5%

8,267

872

12%

Union Grove

119

94

-25

-21%

98

4

4%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2007 American Community Survey

Chart 3-1. Population by Jurisdiction

chart3-1

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2007 American Community Survey

Map 3-5. 2007 Municipal Population Estimates

map3-5

Age Distribution

The 2000 Census indicates that 33% of Marshall County's population is under the age of 25. This age group will have a substantial impact on common facility requirements. The 25-54 age group is an important asset in realizing the County's full social and economic potential since people between 25 -and 54-years-old are usually the most productive in the County. In the year 2007, the 25-54 age group accounted for approximately 42% of the total population. The age group of 55 years or older represents approximately 25%. The high percentage of people over the age of 55 should have an effect on the community facilities required to serve this age group such as health care facilities as well as elderly and public assistance programs. Chart 3-2 depicts the breakdown of the County by the age of residents, and Map 3-7 shows the 2000 geographic distribution of median ages by Census Block Group.

Chart 3-2. Marshall County Population by Age

chart3-2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2007 American Community Survey

Map 3-7. 2000 Median Age Distribution

map3-7

Race and Gender

According to the 2007 Census estimate, throughout Marshall County, whites comprise 94.5 % of the population and African-Americans make up 1.9%. The remainder of the population is comprised of American Indian, Asians and Pacific Islanders. The County is 52% female and 48% male. The Census does not classify Hispanic as a race; it is a self-designated classification for people whose origins are from Spain, Spanish-speaking countries of Central or South America, etc. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Within Marshall County, the 2007 Census estimates that 9% of the population is Hispanic or Latino (of any race.)

Educational Attainment

Of Marshall County's population of 25 years or older, 53.2 percent are high school graduates or higher, and 14.8 percent of those have a bachelor's degree or higher. Chart 3-3 depicts the educational attainment of Marshall County residents, according to the 2000 Census.

Chart 3-3. Educational Attainment for 25 Years Old and Older

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2007 American Community Survey

Back To Topp>

3.7 Economy

Business and Industry

Poultry processing is the largest industry in Albertville. Between AlaTrade Foods; Wayne Farms; Tyson Foods; and Sunrise Foods they employ 3,497 people. Education systems throughout the County employ 1,825 people. The Marshall Medical Center North is the largest employer in Arab. It employs 451 people. The Arab City Schools employ 364 people. Poultry processing is the largest industry in Boaz. Pilgrim's Pride and AlaTrade employ 3,320 people. Map 3-8 shows the locations of major employers in Marshall County. Table 3-4 "Major Employers" lists the largest employers in Marshall County, which are shown on Map 3-8 below. The "SIC" column in the table refers to the Standard Industrial Classification code by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Map 3-8. Major Employers

map3-8


Table 3-4. Major Employers

FIRM LOCATION EMPLOYEES SIC SIC Description

Pilgrim's Pride Corp

Boaz

1000-4999

2015

Food & Poultry Processing Plants (Mfrs)

Pilgrim's Pride Corp

Guntersville

1000-4999

2015

Food & Poultry Processing Plants (Mfrs)

Kappler Inc

Guntersville

500-999

3842

Surgical Dressings-Manufacturers

Mitchell Grocery Corp

Albertville

500-999

5141

Grocers-Wholesale

Mueller CO

Albertville

500-999

3491

Fire Hydrants (Manufacturers)

Sunrise Foods Llc

Albertville

500-999

2015

Food & Poultry Processing Plants (Mfrs)

Sunrise Industries Inc

Guntersville

500-999

2452

Lumber Builtings-Pre-Cut Prefab & Modlr (Mfrs)

Tyson Foods Inc

Albertville

500-999

2015

Food & Poultry Processing Plants (Mfrs)

Wayne Farms Llc

Albertville

500-999

5144

Poultry-Wholesale

Federal-Mogul Corp

Boaz

250-499

5013

Brakes-Distributors (Whol)

Huntsville Hospital

Grant

250-499

8012

Hospitals

Marshall Medical Ctr North

Guntersville

250-499

8062

Hospitals

Team Employment Svc Llc

Albertville

250-499

7363

Employment Contractors-Temporary Help

Wagner

Boaz

250-499

5013

Brakes-Distributors (Whol)

Walmart Supercenter

Boaz

250-499

5311

Department Stores

Walmart Supercenter

Guntersville

250-499

5311

Department Stores

Abitibi Bowater

Albertville

100-249

2411

Pulpwood (Manufacturers)

Ajax Tocco Magnethermic Corp

Boaz

100-249

3782

Induction Heating & Melting Equipment (Manuf)

Alatrade Foods

Boaz

100-249

5144

Poultry-Wholesale

Albertville Quality Foods

Albertville

100-249

5144

Poultry-Wholesale

Atrion Medical Products Inc

Arab

100-249

3841

Physicians-Surgeons Equip & Suppls (Mfrs)

B & G Supply CO Inc

Albertville

100-249

4213

Trucking-Motor Freight

Berry Plastics

Albertville

100-249

2211

Textile Mill Products

Guntersville Board of Education

Guntersville

100-249

8211

Schools

Huhtamaki Food Svc-Chinet Prod

Albertville

100-249

2621

Paper Manufacturers

Hyco Alabama

Arab

100-249

3593

Cylinders-Air & Hydraulic (Manuf)

Kabco Builders Inc

Boaz

100-249

2451

Mobile Homes Manufacturers

Kmart

Albertville

100-249

5311

Department Stores

Lowe's

Albertville

100-249

5211

Home Centers

Parker-Hannifin Corp

Boaz

100-249

3643

Connectors-Electric (Manuf)

Plasticraft Manufacturing

Albertville

100-249

3089

Plastics-Plastic Products (Mfrs)

Progress Rail Svc

Boaz

100-249

5093

Scrap Metals & Iron (Wholesale)

Sanmina-Sci Corp

Guntersville

100-249

3672

Printed & Etched Circuits (Mfrs)

Syncro Corp

Arab

100-249

3999

Assembly-Fabrication (Mfrs)

Walmart Supercenter

Arab

100-249

5311

Department Stores

Source: 2008 Polk City Directory

Income and Housing

The median household income for Marshall County is $35,754 compared to a state average of $40,052, according to 2007 Census estimates. Approximately 16.6 percent of families live below the poverty line. Housing values ranged from 2,937 units at less than $50,000 to 14 units valued at $1,000,000 or more. The median value for a home in Marshall County in 2007 was $98,300.

Back To Top

3.8 Utilities

Electric Power

Electric power is provided by the Albertville Municipal Utilities Board, Arab Electric Cooperative, Cherokee Electric Cooperative, Alabama Power, Marshall-DeKalb Electric Cooperative, Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative, North Alabama Electric Cooperative and Guntersville Electric Board.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is provided by the Marshall County Gas District for all areas other than Boaz. The Boaz Gas Board provides gas for the Boaz area. Marshall County Gas District provides natural gas which it may be distributed by other companies serving Marshall County.

Water and Sewer

Water and sewer service is provided by the Municipal Utilities Board, Boaz Water and Sewer, Guntersville Water Works and Sewer Board, Arab Water Works, Arab Sewer Board, Northeast Alabama Water Authority, Albertville Utilities Board, Douglas Water Authority, Swearengin Water System, Union Grove Utility Board, and North Alabama Water Authority in their respective areas.

Back To Top

3.9 Media

Cable and Satellite TV

Charter Communications, Horizon Communications, Premier, Steve's Satellite Center and Wireless One provide cable service for areas within Marshall County. Satellite television is also available throughout the County.

Newspapers

The Advertiser Gleam out of Guntersville, the Sand Mountain Reporter out of Albertville, and the Arab Tribune of Arab are the three local newspapers for Marshall County. Residents also receive the Huntsville Times, the Gadsden Times, and the Birmingham News.

Telephone Services

Cherokee Telephone Company, TDS Telecom, AT&T, OTELCO, New Hope Telephone Company, and Brindlee Mountain Telephone Company provide telephone services. American Telegraph Service and Western Union provide telegraph services. Cellular service and 800 MHz service is provided by CORR wireless, Southern Linc, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless.

Radio

Local radio stations include: WAFN-FM 92.7 - Arab, WQSB-FM 105.1 - Albertville, WAVU-AM 630 - Albertville, WTWX-FM 95.9 - Guntersville, WGSV-AM 1270 - Guntersville, WBSA-AM 1300 - Boaz, WRAB-AM 1380 - Arab, and WJIA-FM 88.5 - Guntersville.

Back To Top

3.10 Transportation

Major Roadways

Marshall County is served by U.S. Highways 431 and 231, and six State Highways: 69, 75, 79, 168, 205, and 227.

Railway

CSX has a rail line that goes to Guntersville to the port facilities at Port of Guntersville located along the Tennessee River.

Airports and Heliports

There are two commercial airports, one in Guntersville and the other in Albertville, providing service to small private and commercial aircraft. There is a heliport located in the state park. The Huntsville and Birmingham International Airports are 45 and 60 miles from Guntersville respectively. Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is 90 miles and Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport is 150 miles from Guntersville.

Waterways

Flowing through Marshall County is the Tennessee River. This river is navigable and it is from the Tennessee River that Lake Guntersville is formed. The port facilities of the Port of Guntersville are located along the Tennessee River in Guntersville. The Paint Rock River forms a portion of the County's northern boundary, and several tributaries of the Black Warrior River run through the southwest part of the County.

Back To Top

greenLRChapter 2 - Prerequisites
Chapter 4 - Planning ProcessgreenR