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Local expansion to create more jobs

Despite economic hardships at home, the Troy City Council approved to sell a portion of the Industrial Park land to expand local business in its Tuesday meeting.

Bakers Metals, currently located on U.S. Highway 231, will purchase the portion of land, which is owned by the city, for $60,000 Wednesday, said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford.

“We’re proud we could announce tonight an expansion that will create more jobs,” Lunsford said.

Though he said he isn’t sure how many jobs or when the expansion would begin, Lunsford said the business will build a 20,000 square-foot building on the Industrial Park

The city is expected to close the deal this afternoon.

Also in their meeting, council members deferred an agreement with the local doctors group in purchasing the Troy Regional Medical Center.

Lunsford said when the group purchased the hospital last year, they made an agreement with the city to guarantee a portion of the money they borrowed.

This meant on Jan. 31, the city was set to take ownership of the hospital for $10.5 million, if the doctors group still wished to follow through with the agreement.

Now, the purchase may be held off at least until March 31, and potentially, it may not happen.

Lunsford said if it does, however, the city will be the owners of the hospital and be able to lease it back to the doctors group or another entity.

The council also voted to allow work to begin on the construction of a new walking trail at the Sportsplex.

Director of Parks and Recreation Dan Smith said the grant received from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will cover the costs of a 1-mile walking trail, which will be constructed through wooded area around the Recreation Center.

Smith said now that they have the OK to begin, they will start immediately, and he hopes it will be completed within a year.

Lunsford also announced in his closing comments, the city has been awarded a $12,800 grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Center to fix drainage problems at the old Industrial Park.

And, after a local police officer’s vehicle was wrecked, the city approved the purchase of a new police car from Ken Cox Ford for some $22,000.

Lunsford said the money comes from already budgeted funds.