Ground breaks on new Hackleburg grocery store

      The countdown is on. In 240 days or less, the town of Hackleburg will finally have its own grocery store. The only grocery was destroyed in the April 2011 tornado that ripped apart Hackleburg. This is a day that people in this community have been waiting for, for the last three years.{}Many say this is a big step in the recovery of this community.For Carla Rector, it's a beautiful sight."It's been a really tough road," says Rector. "The folks in town here have had a really tough road. We have to go so far out of town to buy groceries."Rector says right now the people of Hackleburg have a Dollar General but the nearest grocery store is ten miles away.{} "We are so looking forward to this new grocery store and the start of rebuilding our town," says Rector.It's still easy to see signs from the April 27 E-F 5 tornado. But, there are signs of rebirth too.{} Many churches and houses have been rebuilt. The Wrangler plant is up and running. Students attending Hackleburg high school and elementary school are still housed in trailers, but every day they see progress. Just across the street. A brand new building that will house both schools is going up.{} "The things that we had taken for granted had just vanished," says Hackleburg mayor, Whitey Cochran still shakes his head when he remembers what was lost, including the only grocery store.{} "The tax base, that was the biggest tax base for the town, and we lost all of that. It's very hard to operate a town this small with a very little tax base coming in."Cochran says this groundbreaking symbolizes economic recovery."We've worked really hard in maintaining and trying to get grant money to rebuild and we'll start plugging in some of the holes in the areas downtown with new buildings coming real soon."Hackleburg mayor Whitey Cochran says there's some more good news coming. The city will break ground on a new city hall and police complex next week.{}Cochran says they are continuing to look at capital improvement projects, including street paving and a twenty unit housing complex.