Talladega County Commission approves $48.4 million tax abatement for HMA
by Shane Dunaway
TALLADEGA — The County Commission unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement request of $48.4 million for Honda Manufacturing of Alabama during a meeting held Monday.

Warren Matthews, an attorney from Burr & Forman in Montgomery, presented the request to the Commission in conjunction with an announcement of a new $48.4 expansion project in the works by HMA.

According to HMA’s Corporate Affairs and Communication Department Manager Ted Pratt, the project includes additional investment related to the production of direct injection engines, part of Honda’s “Earth Dreams Technology” designed to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of the V-6 engines produced at HMA.

“The additional jobs and significant financial investment in our Lincoln facility will offer improved efficiency in costs, quality and delivery for our Alabama manufacturing operations,” Pratt said. “We believe the investment and additional employment offered by this new venture also will benefit our associates and their families, the local community and our customers.”

Pratt estimated the construction, equipment installation and testing would be completed in 2014.

“We’re always glad to hear the good news coming out of (HMA),” District 3 Commissioner Kelvin Cunningham said. “We appreciate your hard work.”

Other Commission actions taken:

• Discussed the upcoming sinkhole repair project on Alabama 21 spearheaded by the Alabama Department of Transportation to take place by early August.

• Voted 4-0 to approve the June 10 meeting minutes. District 1 Commissioner Jackie Swinford abstained from voting.

• Unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Talladega County Emergency Management Agency and Stockdale Baptist Church. County EMA Director Deborah Gaither said the agreement would allow the EMA to use Stockdale Baptist Church as a staging and distribution area during a crisis.

• Voted 5-0 to approve County Administrator Wayne Hall’s request for Cunningham to sign a three-year renewal lease agreement for an AS400 computer system.

• Unanimously approved Hall’s recommendation to award bids to Twin Creeks Towing, Twin Creeks Towing II, Dee’s Wrecker Service, M & H Wrecker Service, R & B Wrecker Service, Hindman’s Wrecker Service and Race City Towing & Recovery, effectively adding their services on a rotational basis to the Talladega County Sheriff’s Department. Hall said each company met all requirements and specifications sought by the department.

• Voted 5-0 to approve a listing of personal property insolvent taxpayers for the 2012 tax year.

• Unanimously approved a request from the Talladega County Water Department to surplus 1,500 or more old water meters. The water department now uses automatic read meters and deemed the old water meters obsolete.

• Voted 5-0 to approve the Talladega County Economic Development Authority’s recommendation to distribute $62,524 of the funds from the 2-cent rural sales tax designated for rural water development to the water department for adding a fire hydrant at Cove Shocco Road and extending water lines on Shady and Smithville Lanes.

• Unanimously approved personnel changes and expenditures.

• Announced District 4 Commissioner Jimmy Roberson will sponsor a garbage clean-up day Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department.

• Announced the county offices will be closed July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

• Announced the next Commission meeting is scheduled for July 8 at 6 p.m.

Contact Shane Dunaway at sdunaway@dailyhome.com

© 2013