Limestone County Commission OKs tax abatement for Carpenter

2018-07-04 | The News Courier

July 03--The Limestone County Commission on Monday approved a tax abatement for Carpenter Technology Corporation.

The company plans to build a $52-million state-of-the-art emerging technology center for research just south of its existing facility on Thomas L. Hammons Road. A company official on Monday would not comment further but said a formal announcement would be made later this month.

According to information provided about the project, the new center would focus on additive manufacturing technology development and pilot production, titanium powder technology development, soft magnetic technology development and expanded powder production.

The 10-year agreement approved by the commission abates $1,242,955 in noneducational ad valorem taxes and $1,022,500 in construction-related transaction taxes. The agreement says Carpenter's anticipated payroll at the emergency technology center to be $2.1 million by the third year of operation.

The abatement agreement was not unanimous, however. District 4 Commissioner Ben Harrison, who has voted against similar agreements in the past, voted "no." He said it's another case of a government entity providing a thing of value to a for-profit company.

"It's just wrong, and we should treat everyone the same," he said. "(The commission) is there to make sure the scales are balanced. We're supposed to referee, but we're becoming players."

Harrison also spoke against the fact he and his fellow commissioners received details about the abatement agreement Friday, which gave them less than three days to review the information prior to Monday's 10 a.m. meeting.

Elsewhere Monday, the commission:

--Held a public hearing regarding the county's intention to apply for a Community Development Block Grant for water system improvements in the Tanner community. If the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs approves the $350,000 grant, the commission would receive the funds and turn them over to the Limestone County Water Sewer Authority, which will perform the work. Commissioners will vote on whether they want to submit the grant at a meeting this month. The deadline to apply is July 31;

--Awarded a bid to W.H. Thomas Oil Company Inc. for gasoline and diesel fuel at 30 cents margin over rack;

--Removed phone service and an office and shed from inventory; and

--Approved centerline and edge striping on four roads in District 3 at a cost of $49,471.81. The roads are Mooresville, from Will McComb to Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road (6.39 miles); Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road from U.S. 31 to Mooresville Road (4.53 miles); Shaw Road from U.S. 72 to Nuclear Plant Road (6.15 miles); and Snake Road from Shaw Road to the end of Snake Road (8.17 miles).

The commission will meet again 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Washington Street annex.