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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2007
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Hartselle supports proposal for county industrial park

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Hartselle wants to make sure money the city has been contributing for an industrial park in Morgan County continues to go that way.

That's why a unanimous council adopted a resolution Tuesday night supporting local legislation for a new industrial park, which may be in Hartselle's back door.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley said the city will continue to set aside a portion of its Tennessee Valley Authority in-lieu-of-tax revenue to help pay for the proposed park.

"This is a great step in the right direction for the county," Tankersley said.

Morgan County Economic Development Association President Jeremy Nails has lobbied the County Commission and eight county municipal governments to pass similar resolutions. So far, only the commission and Hartselle have passed resolutions. Decatur, the largest contributor of TVA money, has not put the item on its agenda.

City and county leaders have said they will not be able to construct the industrial park without Decatur's financial support.

EDA has identified 1,800 acres between Hartselle and Falkville as a possible site for the park.

But, a number of things must happen before the EDA board talks about acquiring property for an industrial park.

First, Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, and Rep. Ronald Grantland, D-Hartselle, must get legislation passed to expand the authority of the Decatur-Morgan County Port Authority.

Orr and Grantland have introduced legislation to expand the authority's power beyond the three-mile limit from the Tennessee River allowed under current law.

The bill also allows the port authority to develop motels, restaurants, coffee shops, stores, warehouses, factories, manufacturing plants, office space and other commercial buildings, including industrial parks.

The mayors agreed during a series of meetings two years ago that a new park was needed, but talk about money didn't start until Nails asked them to pass resolutions.

The $9.8 million in bonds for the 1987 Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park pay off in November. County leaders, who collect the TVA money, said they have sent the last payment to Decatur, which holds the bonds on its books.

The following is a breakdown of what the municipalities and county paid toward the final payment: Decatur, $416,098; Hartselle, $92,713; County Commission, $305,561; Priceville, $12,596; Trinity, $14,224; Falk-ville, $9,254; Eva, $3,770; and Somerville, $2,656.

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