News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2007


Time to get moving on industrial park

Decatur council members decided last week that the city can afford to invest its Tennessee Valley Authority revenue in economic development at the same rate as in the past 20 years. That should mean plans for the proposed 1,800-acre industrial park between Hartselle and Falkville may continue on the scale first envisioned.

Decatur officials initially talked of decreasing the city’s share of the load but decided that committing the same share based on population it put into Mallard Fox Industrial Park is a better long-range option.

With Decatur aboard, each of the towns, municipalities and the county are expected to continue their share of TVA tax money they also put into financing Mallard Fox.

Over a 20-year period, Decatur contributed about 45 percent of the funds to retire the $9.8 million Mallard Fox debt. The city’s last payment for the park was $416,098, compared to $92,713 from Hartselle and $305,561 from the County Commission.

Because of the city’s growth it will contribute 48 percent to the new venture.

Mallard Fox continues to serve the county well as it nears its capacity, and the partners pay off the final debt. The county needs a new park quickly as TVA begins to push property across the Tennessee River as a megasite, perhaps for an automobile assembly plant.

The Hartselle/Falkville Interstate 65 corridor will be an ideal site for plants that supply an assembly plant, or many types of industries. The new park is a good investment.

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