An Athens industry will hire 60 new workers as part of a $40.4 million expansion of its facility on Wilkinson Street, officials announced at Monday's Athens City Council meeting.

The council unanimously approved $25,000 in incentives to Indorama Ventures Sustainable Solutions and a 10-year abatement of noneducational sales and property taxes. The company will receive $12,500 when it reaches 30 new full-time employees and an additional $12,500 when it hits 60 full-time employees.

Mayor Ronnie Marks told the council the project represented a “great addition” for the company, which the project agreement describes as “a world-class chemicals company and a global leader in PET (polyethylene terephthalate, the most common thermoplastic polymer resin) and fibers serving major customers in diversified end-use markets.”

As part of the expansion, the company will grow by 100,000 square feet on the same site.

Bethany Shockney, president of the Limestone County Economic Development Association, told the council the company had received approval from the state for job and investment credits as part of additional incentives.

She said the abatement of sales and use taxes would result in a savings of $436,000 for Indorama, but Athens City Schools would receive $648,000 over the 10-year abatement period. The property tax abatement would result in a savings of $903,000 for Indorama, while providing $1.1 million for the schools over the abatement period.

“It was a competitive project, so we're proud,” Shockney told the council.

Parks and rec reorganization

Elsewhere Monday, the council voted to approve a revised organizational chart for the parks and recreation department to create a recreation programs administrator. That person will start planning for recreation projects now ahead of the opening of the new recreation center next year.

Human Resources Director Marsha Sloss told the council the position was necessitated by the growth of the city's parks and recreation department.

“The workload of the current coordinators has been overwhelming,” she said.

Marks said the new center should be open by June 1, but he's hoping it could be done sooner. He told the council all-purpose turf had been put down on the adjacent all-purpose field, and it's the same type of turf installed at Athens Stadium.

In other personnel action, the council amended its personnel policies and procedures to clarify who is and isn't a city employee.

“We thought it was a good idea to clarify who does not fall under the (city employee) umbrella like appointed board members and the city attorney,” City Clerk Annette Barnes Threet told the council. “From time to time, we've had questions as to whether they have benefits. We've always followed that practice, but it's never been clarified.”

Other business

In other business, the council:

• Held public hearings on the sale of alcohol at Market Street BP (1606 W. Market St., Athens) and Del Dur Market (800 U.S. 72 Suite F);

• Held a public hearing and then voted to rezone property directly east of 22345 Nick Davis Road for Linton Road LLC from an estate agricultural and residential district to a conventional planned unit development district;

• Held a public hearing and rezoned property at 13617 Cambridge Lane for Edna R. Bailey and Keith Rowe from an estate agricultural and residential district to a single-family, low-density residential district;

• Set a public hearing for Dec. 23 to review a request by the Cannon Family LLC and Maund Family LLC to rezone 106.9 acres 1,500 west of U.S. 31 South on the southern side of Roy Long Road from light industrial district to high-density, single-family residential district; and

• Approved the purchase of two 2020 Dodge crew cab pickup trucks for $55,104 for the electric department.

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