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Troy to borrow $1.7 million to purchase land for Conecuh Ridge Distillery

The Troy City Council is seeking to borrow $1.7 million to continue moving forward with a project to bring Conecuh Ridge Distillery to Troy.

The council unanimously ratified the project agreement at their last council meeting and are now ready to secure funding so that the land can be purchased as soon as Conecuh Ridge does their due diligence, said Mayor Jason Reeves.

“We’ll go out and get a line of credit so that’s in place,” Reeves said. “That way we can execute the purchase of the property whenever Conecuh Ridge is ready.”

The city recruited the whiskey distillery in a landmark deal that brought Gov. Kay Ivey and other elected officials to Troy to announce the project in September. The city promised to purchase the property near Heritage Hills along with other incentives in exchange for the company’s $13.5 million capital investment in the local economy.

Reeves said the line of credit will allow for the process to move quickly and that long-term financing will be handled further down the road.

In hand with the distillery project is the consideration of an amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance that would create a district for tourism developments like the distillery.

“It’s very important from listening to the concerns of adjacent residents, we want very specific zoning to accommodate them that won’t leave it there as industrial if something doesn’t work out,” Reeves said.

The company has 180 days to do due diligence before beginning the next phase of the project, but could start at any time once they have the property.

“I know they have some things they want to look at it and they also want to get it done as quickly as possible,” Reeves said. “I don’t think it’s going to take the full 180 days but I don’t think it will be next week either.”

If the new zoning changes are adopted, the company would still have to go before the planning and zoning board to ask that the property be rezoned to the new district type, according to Melissa Sanders, planning and zoning administrator.

The new zoning specifically applies to “large acreage” developments unified under one owner and including at least three various uses such as a restaurant, park and community center.

The size of the property must be at least 50 acres to qualify and building heights are limited to residential standards.

The full list of uses and regulations can be accessed in the classifieds section of the Tuesday, January 2 edition of The Messenger.

The council will take up the matter of borrowing the funds at their next council meeting on Tuesday, January 9, and will consider the zoning amendment on Tuesday, February 13.

The city council will meet Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. for an executive committee meeting upstairs at City Hall. The council will then convene downstairs in the City Council Chambers for their business meeting at 5 p.m.