• 73°

Council approves abatements for Golden Boy expansion

Golden Boy will have approximately $3.2 million of taxes abated to expand the business with the addition of a new peanut butter line.

Jimmy Lunsford of the Pike County Economic Development Center told the council that Golden Boy will have invested a total of $22 million into the local economy through all of its expansions, including expansion back in 2016.

“We’re thrilled to death that Golden Boy is expanding,” said Marsha Gaylard, president of the PCEDC.

Lunsford said Golden Boy currently employs about 125 active full-time workers and the addition of the new peanut butter line is expected to add 10 new jobs and also provide for the promotion of 10 current employees who will need to be trained to upgrade to the new line.

“It will be a tremendous upgrade of the peanut butter operation  with a considerable increase in skill level as well as adding additional people,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford also came forward to the council with a request to “clean up” a 2016 agreement to abate taxes for an expansion at Golden Boy that added three salaried positions and 35 hourly jobs at the company.

“They applied for an estimated $9.3 million abatement but the expansion grew and the abatement grew to $11.3 million, so the state requires that we come back and get that corrected,” Lunsford said.

The council unanimously approved both requests.

The council also agreed to cooperate with Coach Safely to ensure all coaches coaching on a municipal field go through a training course now required by Alabama law.

Dan Smith, director of Parks and Recreation, said the new requirement ensures all coaches have a better understanding of how to deal with concussions, heat illnesses, cardiac attacks, equipment usage and other potential hazards while coaching.

“This is a great thing not only for our coaches, but, of course, the children,” Smith said. “The coaches will be better prepared to prevent injuries and identify any times a child may have an illness.”

In other business, the council:

• Approved the purchase of five utility vehicles from Pike County Ford

• Approved to enter an engineering services agreement with Three Notch Partners, the new engineering firm founded by Tim Ramsden, who formerly worked with the city on engineering projects during his time with CDG Engineering

The council will not meet at its next regularly scheduled meeting, as it falls on Christmas Day. The next meeting will be January 8, 2019.