Council prepares for permanent Kimber financing

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The City of Troy is preparing to complete the permanent financing required to bring Kimber Manufacturing, an upscale firearms manufacturer, into the city.

The city received bids for the issuance of $16 million and $6 million that the city promised Kimber in incentives in exchange for the company’s commitment to invest $38 million into the local economy and bring 366 jobs.

During the work session, Mayor Jason Reeves updated the council that they had gotten a bid that fits every requirement they had set.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’m glad we got a good bid and that we’re able to bring this project to a conclusion,” Reeves said. “This has been a long process to undertake. Something this large, it takes a lot of time. Now we’re really rounding third base and heading for home.”

The $16 million is set out for the design, renovation and construction of the facility while the other $6 million is to be upfront spending money for the company, of which $3 million will be paid back by the State of Alabama over the next three years.

The ordinance that would authorize the issuance of the money was on the agenda, but because of the timing of receiving the bids, the council did not have anything to review and vote on. Reeves suggested that the ordinance be forward to the next council meeting on Tuesday, June 26, where he urged the council to suspend the rules to take immediate action to finalize the financing.

Not only will the council likely move forward on the Kimber project at that meeting, they will also have an ordinance to consider in regards to the Conecuh Ridge Distillery project.

The Troy Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the annexation of 13.5 acres of the future distiller property into the Troy corporate limits.

The council had their first reading of an ordinance that would bring the property completely into the city limits Tuesday and will be able to vote on the annexation at the June 26 meeting.

“We first want to provide proper zoning to protect the neighboring residents,” Reeves said of the annexation. He explained that the 13.5 acres of the land promised to the company is outside the city limits and therefore outside of any zoning regulations.

Bringing in the portion of property would automatically subject the land to reserved residential zoning. At that point, Reeves said, the entire 76-acre property could be rezoned at one time.

The city has committed to purchase the property for the whiskey distillery, a $1.7 million expense, in exchange for Conecuh Ridge’s commitment to hire at least 30 people initially and invest $13.5 million into the local economy.

The council also conducted the first reading of an ordinance that would potentially give East Central Mental Health 4 acres of the city’s land in exchange for a lot adjacent to the existing ECMH facility.

In other business, the council:

  • Voted unanimously to reject bids on two utilities project due to the bidders incorrectly submitting the bids, which Reeves said “spoiled the process.”
  • Voted unanimously to amend the building and fire codes to the most updated standards from the State of Alabama after nobody spoke for or against the change at the public hearings held at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Voted unanimously to establish a “tanker task force” among all Pike County fire departments to help improve the city’s insurance rating.

The city council will meet again at Troy City Hall on Tuesday, June 26. The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will convene in the City Council Chambers at 5 p.m.