Oxford joins McClellan compact
by Eddie Burkhalter
eburkhalter@annistonstar.com
Oct 08, 2013 | 3472 views |  0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD — Oxford is no longer the lone holdout among local cities that have agreed to contribute money to develop McClellan.

The Oxford City Council unanimously voted during Tuesday’s meeting to contribute $400,000 over eight years toward the project.

The nonprofit McClellan Development Authority plans to develop the former military base by building industrial parks and attracting commercial businesses.

City attorney Bruce Rice told the council Oxford won’t have to start the $50,000 annual payments until 2015. A signing between all the cities and agencies involved will take place in October, Rice said, but Tuesday’s resolution makes Oxford’s contribution official.

Oxford’s promised contribution of $400,000 matches that of Calhoun County’s.

“This is about bringing jobs to the area ,” said Oxford City Council President Steven Waits.

Robin Scott, executive director of the authority, and Phil Webb, board chairman of the authority and owner of Oxford’s Webb Concrete, spoke to the council last month, asking members to consider the contribution.

Also partnered in the McClellan Area Regional Development Compact are Jacksonville, Piedmont, Weaver, Ohatchee and Hobson City as well as the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, Jacksonville State University and Gadsden State Community College.

In another item of business during the Oxford City Council’s Tuesday meeting, a representative from Interstate Sheet Metal said the company plans a $2.1 million expansion of its Oxford facility.

“We have increased our work…and we need more machinery,” said Henry Smith, owner of Interstate Sheet Metal.

The council approved a 10-year abatement of state and local non-educational ad valorem taxes for the company.

Smith said the expansion will mean as much as 11 new jobs there. The company currently employees about 35, Smith said.

“If it’s one or two jobs it’s important. Just ask someone who's filling out job applications just how life-changing that is,” Waits said.

In other business, the council:

• Agreed to pay the Birmingham engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood $21,000 to complete land surveying work on the site of the proposed new city garage.

• Entered into a brief executive session during Tuesday’s meeting. Waits said it was to discuss the sale of real estate.

Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.

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