Chambers County Commission approves FY2017 budget
The Chambers County Commission voted Monday to approve a $20.3 million budget for fiscal year 2017, with a portion going to economic development in the county.
The budget includes anticipated revenues of $20,335,567.48 and expenditures of $20,259,837.48.
In 2016, the county has received $160,472,587 in capital investments and created 100 jobs, according to Valerie Gray, executive director of the Chambers County Development Authority.
The county’s unemployment rate has gone from 18.2 percent in 2008 to 5.1 percent in 2016.
Chris Busby, who works in community development at the development authority, explained the importance of bringing industries to the county.
“Providing more job opportunities to our citizens,” Busby said.
Since Jan. 1, the county has approved five tax abatements from existing and new industries.
Ajin USA and Leehan America are just a couple of the existing industries in the Cusseta Industrial Park that are in the process of expanding their facilities, which will add more jobs.
Ajin's $6.8 million expansion will add 10 jobs when complete in March 2017.
Leehan America’s expansion is a $2.7 million project that will create the addition of 10 new employees, according to Kimberly Carter, family support coordinator and business retention specialist at the Chambers County Development Authority.
One of the county’s new industries is PSR Plastic Solutions LLC.
The business will be a $1.6 million capital investment for the county, according to Carter, and will employ 30 people.
Most recently, the commission along with the city of LaFayette, the Chambers County Development Authority and AL Solar A finalized a project agreement and tax abatement agreement to locate a massive 72-megawatt solar farm on a 1,100-acre site that encompasses portions of both LaFayette and unincorporated Chambers County, according to a press release from the development authority.
The project will be a $100 to $140 million capital investment for the county, according to County Attorney Skip McCoy.
McCoy said the project will create 200 to 300 jobs during the construction phase.
Construction on the solar farm is scheduled to be completed and operational in late 2017.
In other business Tuesday, the commission:
» Approved annual bids for the county’s highway department.
» Authorized the chairman to enter into a contract with Strain Construction Company Inc. for $511,479.10 to construct waterlines associated with the CDBG and ARC grants for the Standing Rock community.
» Granted industrial park status to Shelton Industrial Park conditioned upon and subject to restrictive covenants for Shelton Industrial Park.
» Approved issuance of local sales and use tax certificate of exemption for Chattahoochee Valley Water Supply District.
Article by Lindy Oller for the Opelika-Auburn News