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Commission backs new industrial park for Morgan on I-65

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

Imagine if there were no Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park.

There wouldn't have been a home for Worthington Steel, United Launch Alliance, Nucor Steel and others that collectively employ thousands of people.

Morgan County leaders are now anticipating more industrial growth, and they want to be prepared to receive it.

That's why Jeremy Nails, president of the Morgan County Economic Development Association, called on the County Commission on Tuesday to support local legislation for a new industrial park.

The proposed legislation establishes a special EDA fund and guidelines for deposits and disbursements for the park.

Seeks participation

Nails said EDA seeks participation of all Morgan County municipalities and the county to finance a park along the Interstate 65 corridor.

"We plan to do the same thing we did at Mallard Fox Creek 20 years ago," Nails told the commission.

"It's been a success story, and it is looked at all across the state. We get calls from others
wanting to know how we got all the municipalities to come together."

Local governments — Decatur, Hartselle, Trinity, Priceville, Somerville, Falkville, Eva and Morgan County — financed a $9.8 million bond for Mallard Fox using funds they receive from Tennessee Valley Authority in lieu of taxes.

All have made their final payments toward the bond. Decatur holds the bond and plans to pay off the indebtedness at the end of the year.

Nails didn't give the commission an amount for an industrial park on I-65.

EDA Chairman Lynn Fowler told the commission about lost industry before Mallard Fox.

"I was involved when we lost a big one," Fowler said. "Losing an industry due to unpreparedness is the reason we decided to do Mallard Fox. We don't want that to happen again."

The commission unanimously adopted a resolution supporting EDA's proposed local legislation, which would have to pass the Legislature.

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