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County awards tax abatement to Lockheed Martin

The Pike County Commission Monday granted Lockheed Martin an abatement on sales and use taxes for the construction of a new manufacturing building as well as a 10-year abatement of property taxes.

The commission unanimously approved the abatement with an abstention from Chad Copeland, District 4. The commission unanimously suspended the rules to pass the abatement, which had not been added to the agenda before the meeting began. A rule suspension was required for the commission to take action on the abatement the same night that it was introduced.

Lockheed Martin representative Adam Carson said the new manufacturing building would bring with it up to 50 new jobs over the course of a few years. The average salary according to the abatement application would be approximately $45,000.

The building is projected to be a $10.3 million capital investment overall.

“(Lockheed Martin) needed to know they had this and we were going to vote to approve it so we went ahead and suspended the rules and got it done,” said chairman Robin Sullivan.

The commission also heard from Eddie Culpepper, the project manager for the construction of a storm shelter in Meeksville that was awarded a grant by FEMA a few weeks ago.

“You were approved in record time for FEMA,” Culpepper said. “And you’re lucky that it got approved when it did– everything in there now is on hold because of Harvey, Irma and all the other ones lined up. The funding is there for you to go forward.”

Culpepper gave the commission an idea of the timeline moving forward with some agreements that must be signed and design and surveying that must be done before the project can begin. Culpepper said he’s hoping that the project can be bid by January 2018 and that the shelter can be built before “spring storm season” in March, April and May.

County Engineer Russell Oliver notified the commissioners that the grant application for the resurfacing of two county roads near Henderson had been successfully submitted and that the county is now in “wait and see mode” to find out if the grant will be awarded.

He also submitted the department’s annual contract bids for materials such as concrete and other materials used in roadwork, which the commission unanimously approved.

The commission also unanimously approved the formal funding agreement between the county and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to repair the failed bridge on County Road 2201 leading to Goshen.

The commission also:

  • Approved the use of the courthouse by the City of Troy for its upcoming municipal referendum on Sunday alcohol sales Tuesday, October 10.
  • Approved the use of the courthouse by the Pike County NAACP for a candidates forum to be held October 16 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Nominated Kelly Ross to the Board of Equalization.
  • Continued their support of the Pike County Economic Development Center at $25,000.
  • Changed their health insurance policy so that retired employees can no longer take part in the system.

The commission will meet again next Monday, September 25 for a work session beginning at 5:15 p.m. upstairs at the Pike County Health Department. The business meeting will follow at 6 p.m. and a budget hearing.