TUSCUMBIA — County commissioners Tuesday agreed to sell about 475 acres in the Barton Riverfront Industrial Park to the Shoals Industrial Development Committee.
The county will retain 14 acres near an existing wastewater treatment facility for future expansion in the event of commercial and residential growth in western Colbert County.
The SIDC is attempting to purchase available property in industrial parks in the Shoals.
The idea is that SIDC ownership of industrial property eliminates one step needed when negotiating with corporations that are interested in beginning operations in the Shoals.
Commissioners were open to the idea of selling the property, but District 6 Commissioner Charlie Hovater expressed interest in holding onto some property for the development of a wastewater treatment facility.
Hovater was concerned the county might have to buy back the property at a higher price.
The commission learned earlier this month the SIDC was not in favor or providing the county with the option of repurchasing property for the original price, according to attorney Jimmy Hughston, who represents the SIDC and the Shoals Economic Development Authority.
At a December commission meeting, SEDA Vice President Susie Heird said the purchase price will be the price the commission originally paid for the land, or $2,000 per acre, whichever is higher.
The commission originally paid $300,000-$400,000 for the property.
The SIDC suggested that the county simply retain ownership of some of the property instead of possibly repurchasing it later.
"This will give us adequate space if this thing takes off like we think it will," Hovater said. "We've got to have infrastructure in place or people aren't going to locate in Colbert County."
County Engineer John Bedford said the additional land will provide room for expansion of the existing wastewater treatment facility.
In other business, the commission:
declared two sheriff's department patrol cars surplus property.
approved a $185 expenditure for a full-page advertisement in the "Recall LaGrange 2013" program.
approved a $3,604 contract with Contech Engineered Solutions to construct a seawall at the Colbert Alloys park.
approved the ballot for an April 9 school tax referendum.
approved a two-day special events liquor license for a March 1-2 rodeo at the Longhorn Arena.
approved a $3,000 expenditure to make repairs to the boat ramp at Pride Landing.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.