Publix development gains new ground

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Troy council members on Tuesday took the first step toward purchasing outparcel properties for the retail development around a new Publix grocery store on U.S. 231.

The council members reviewed two resolutions giving the city authority to borrow some $1.8 million to purchase the land designated as outparcels for the grocery store development and, in turn, sell that land to Harbert Realty Services, which is developing the Publix grocery store and retail strip center on U.S. 231 across from George Wallace Drive.

Attorney Richard Calhoun discussed the agreement with council members and audience members during the city council’s meeting and explained that the notice was allowing the city to grant things of value to Harbert Realty, which in this case would be the parcel of land the city may purchase.

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“The city has entered into that project agreement and … has agreed to purchase property adjacent to the Publix development site and to grant to Harbert an option to purchase that property from the city for the same purchase price,” Calhoun said. The project agreement also specifies that Harbert will pay the interest costs on the loans.

“Essentially, the idea is that no real cost to the city in this transaction,” Calhoun said. “If everything goes as planned, Harbert buys the property back and has paid all of the interests and a costs associated with the loan.”

The city put out bids for the loan and Calhoun said First National Bank of Brundidge offered the lowest rates.

Neither resolutions were taken up for consideration during the council’s regular meeting, but Calhoun said the plan was to have the council vote on the matter during its upcoming meeting on June 9th.

In other items of business, the council awarded bids to Affinity Apparel Riverside for fire retardant uniforms for the Utilities Department and Electric Department.

“Safety requirement suggests and basically mandates that our employees wear clothing that is fire retardant,” said Council President Johnny Witherington. “It’s time for us to re-bid these uniforms.”

The council also awarded bids to Azars Uniforms and Gulf State Distributors for the police department uniforms.

“Azars was the low bidder on the actual pants and shirts for the police department,” Witherington said. “Gulf States Distributers, out of Montgomery, was the low bidders on the shoes, leather belts and raincoat apparels for the department.”

Witherington said he had spoken to Police Chief Jimmy Ennis and determined that both companies would be satisfied with doing a split-bid award.

At the close of the council meeting, District 2 councilman Greg Meeks announced that the construction and repaving of Elm Street Road would begin Thursday at 6 p.m. with the road being closed to all traffic until the completion of the project.

Meeks said the project was estimated to take 90 business days, but the construction company had been given 100 business days, which started May 15.

“The road form George Wallace Drive to Barron Road will officially be closed Thursday at 6 p.m.,” Meeks said. “That could change because of the weather, but that’s what they’re looking at. Be patient and tentative. This is something that we’ve wanted for the last three years.”