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Area set to get TVA Megasite
Authority status for land north of Calhoun could help draw industry here

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Property north of Calhoun Community College will become a TVA Megasite for industry, said Athens Mayor Dan Williams.

U.S. Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, Tennessee Valley Authority officials and others will converge at Calhoun to make the announcement Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Aerospace Training Center.

In February 2006, Limestone County Economic Development Association President Tom Hill said TVA was certifying 1,000 acres in Southern Limestone County between U.S. 31, Interstate 65 and Garrett Road.

That's north of Pryor Field Regional Airport and Calhoun.

TVA's Megasite certification program sends a consultant to look at a potential site and examine it for available infrastructure, soil conditions and endangered species before certifying it.

Once property receives megasite status, it means the landowner is willing to sell. Then, if an industry decides to locate here, the preliminary site work has been completed, saving the industry time.

Officials aren't saying if a specific industry is interested in the acreage, but European companies have expressed interest in locating in Alabama.

In January and February, Gov. Bob Riley and others traveled to Europe on industry-recruiting trips.

The Birmingham News reported that among three European plants interested in the state is a railcar company looking at North Alabama.

A Limestone and Morgan County delegation also went to Austria in an attempt to attract a manufacturing facility that would bring 3,000 jobs to Limestone County.

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