Council OKs economic development ordinance
by Ron Harris
Jan 08, 2014 | 2559 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jasper City Council discussed the need for work along the road that leads to Love’s Travel Stop during its meeting Tuesday morning. The road also leads to the site that will soon be home to Cracker Barrel, which is expected to begin a construction project this week. Daily Mountain Eagle — Ron Harris
The Jasper City Council discussed the need for work along the road that leads to Love’s Travel Stop during its meeting Tuesday morning. The road also leads to the site that will soon be home to Cracker Barrel, which is expected to begin a construction project this week. Daily Mountain Eagle — Ron Harris
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Jasper City Council members met Tuesday morning and approved a new economic development ordinance related to a development project at the Jasper Square Shopping Center.

The ordinance concerns a tax incentive deal with PLG Investments LLC.

PLG Investments is expected to spend in excess of $7 million to redevelop the property that will be home to T.J. Maxx, Hobby Lobby, Shoe Carnival and Petco later this year.

It’s also going to create almost 100 jobs and bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue to the city each year, city attorney Phil Laird told council members.

The city’s tax incentive deal will total $2.4 million over a 10-year period, Laird said.

“It appears to us this is an excellent opportunity for the city,” Laird said.

Mayor Sonny Posey recommended the council approve the ordinance because “the developer is ready to get underway with this project,” Posey said.

Work is expected to begin later this month, with businesses slated to open before the end of the year.

In other business, council members:

•approved minutes from the Dec. 17 and Dec. 23 meetings.

•heard from city purchasing agent Tommy Knight regarding the purchase of an SUV for the city’s police department.

•approved $5,000 in funding for the purchase of bullet-proof vests for the Jasper Police Department.

•approved a request to begin the process for repairing the road that leads to Love’s Travel Stop just off Interstate 22.

The road also leads to the site where Cracker Barrel is set to begin construction later this week. Work was set to begin Monday but was delayed a few days because of extreme cold weather conditions, public works director Joe Matthews told the council.

The council is expected to begin accepting bids for the work in February, with work to repair the road beginning in March.

Work to construct Cracker Barrel is expected to take approximately 180 days once the project begins.

•approved travel for city employees attending the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association state conference Feb. 9-12 in Birmingham.

•introduced an ordinance to rezone a 1.3-acre piece of property located at 2810 Key Camp Road in District 4.

•introduced an ordinance to change the distance requirement for granting an alcohol license to businesses and organizations.

•heard from Bill Cleghorn regarding the city’s animal shelter.

Cleghorn suggested the city and the Walker County Commission should have a better working relationship in order to build an animal shelter for the county.