By Karen Middleton
Turner Machine is set to add 12 new jobs over the next three years.
On Monday, Limestone County Economic Development Association President Tom Hill came before the Athens City Council to request a property-tax abatement for the next 10 years on behalf of Turner Machine at 130 Durham Drive.
Hill said the company is investing $515,000 to buy two new machining centers. The property-tax abatement, which the council approved, would total $2,266 each year for 10 years and a one-time sales-tax abatement of $9,656. This does not include an abatement of school taxes.
“New property taxes for schools will be approximately, $1,854 each year,” Hill said. “Sales taxes for schools will total approximately $7,081.”
In other business, the council took the following action:
• Accepted a petition containing 1,000 signatures from local residents Steve and Lisa Holloway to name a portion of U.S. 72 after slain police officers Tony Mims and Larry Russell. Councilwoman Milly Caudle recommended that if the designation were a memorial and not a road name change, it should involve a marker that contains the names of all slain city officers. Police Chief Wayne Harper said there are six officers, whose names are currently displayed on a memorial on the Limestone County Courthouse lawn,
• Heard a request from local resident Paul Reeves to have three spots along the north side of West Lee Street designated and marked as parallel parking to accommodate customers of businesses he rents to on the south side of West Lee.
• Heard a report by city Public Works employee Dolph Bradford on a plan to landscape “gateways” to the city with low-growing trees and shrubbery. Hobbs and Jefferson streets would be first under the plan. Councilman Johnny Crutcher said he was concerned about who would maintain the spots because the parks and cemeteries are currently in need of mowing.
• Approved in regular session a resolution to name a new recreation area off Sanderfer Road the Jimmy Wayne Gill Park in honor of Councilman Gill, of whom Councilman Ronnie Marks said had worked “tirelessly” to improve youth recreation facilities in his district.
• Approved the emergency purchase of a new brush truck for the Athens Fire Department at a cost of $33,578.28 from Jimmy Smith.
• Introduced a resolution to be voted on at the Aug. 27 meeting to accept the low bid of $325,000 from Crews Construction to build a new North Alabama Mental Health Center building off Elm Street. The cost would be split with Limestone County.
• Set a date of Aug. 21 at 11:45 a.m. in Limestone County Probate Judge Mike Davis’ office to certify the results of today’s special-election results.
• Approved a resolution of support for the Tennessee Valley Rehabilitation Service Center. The resolution is necessary from local governmental entities for the board to take to granting agencies as documentation.
• Approved an agreement with the Alabama Public Healthcare Authority to transfer the deed of a portion of city- and county-owned property off U.S. 31 South to the state for the building of a new Health Department building.