Ward 3

By Barry Wise Smith

When Stacy Rakestraw was first elected to the Alabaster City Council in 2012 (she ran unopposed in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020), she wanted to be part of making the city cleaner. And to say she’s accomplished that goal would be an understatement. In 2013, the first litter clean-up groups hit the streets, and the next year electronic recycling and paper shredding were added to the slate of services offered. Eleven years later, Alabaster Clean Sweep is a highly anticipated event every April.

In April 2024, volunteer Alabaster Clean Sweep litter groups—including Thompson High School football players—removed litter from Alabaster streets, three tons of electronics were recycled, and four-and-a-half tons of paper were shredded. The city has also implemented a program through the court that assigns people community service picking up litter in the city, and city staff collects litter prior to maintaining rights of way throughout the city. “We have gotten hundreds of bags of litter off the streets in Alabaster with the things we’ve implemented,” Rakestraw says. “We have so many people who travel through our city every day that it was important for these things to work and for the city to look good.” Within the city’s borders, there are eight county roads, I65, and two major state highways with 119 and 31.

In Rakestraw’s primarily residential Ward 3, she is excited for the addition of Patriots Park and the work that has already gone into improving the traffic flow in the area. “The park has been a big hit,” she says. Alabaster partnered with Shelby County to add turn lanes at the Industrial Road intersection leading to Patriots Park, and stoplights are being added soon. Rakestraw would also like to see crosswalks added at the intersection of highways 95 and 66 with sidewalks to connect to the park.

As for the large projects being undertaken in Alabaster, Rakestraw is pleased with the progress made on Larry Simmons stadium (completed in the spring) with anticipated completion of Jim “Peanut” Davenport field by the end of summer. “This will create a new gateway to the Siluria Mill area from the back side,” Rakestraw says. Buck Creek Trail is being paved through a grant from ALDOT, and the council is working to extend the trail north through the city to eventually connect with Patriots Park. The expansion of the Alabaster Senior Center and construction of the city’s amphitheater is expected to be complete in time to host holiday events in December, and additional paved parking will be created to accommodate crowds.

With the anticipated move of the Alabaster City Schools Board of Education out of their existing space at the corner of Thompson Road and 119 in late August, the scene is set for the start of demolition of the existing buildings to make way for construction on the city’s Recreation Center and new public library. The city has already started working with ALDOT to make improvements at that busy intersection to include widening, a designated turn lane for the new Rec Center, and decorative light poles.

Rakestraw is proud of the collaborative projects with other surrounding entities to make improvements for Alabaster residents. The next phase of Highway 119 widening is set to start soon, which will widen the road from County Road 12 to Veterans Park. The city also recently approved a $1.75-million agreement with ALDOT to widen I65 from mile marker 137 past Calera. This collaborative project between Alabaster, ALDOT, Calera, and Shelby County will improve travel through the area.

On Saturday, August 17, Rakestraw is proud that the city is hosting its 6th-annual Alabaster Health Fair in the Thompson High School arena from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This year’s theme is Building a Happy and Healthier You. “This initiative was started to promote the Alabaster Medical Mile, other medical professionals in the area, and the hospital,” Rakestraw says. “The event gives people an opportunity to meet doctors and other healthcare professionals in a casual setting.” The city is partnering with Shelby County Community Services, Brookwood Shelby Baptist, The Baptist Health Foundation, and Alabaster City Schools to put on this free event. There will be over 50 vendors, and volunteers from the HOSA program and the Air Force ROTC from Thompson High School will be on hand to assist participants.

Personally, Rakestraw is looking forward this fall to the birth of her first grandchild when her daughter Faith and son-in-law Blake have a baby boy in October. Her son Jake is in Atlanta, and her daughter Savanna graduated from UAH in December.