LITTLEVILLE — Town council members have approved a lease agreement that will pave the way for a new Big Star supermarket that would provide Littleville with more tax revenue.
Council members voted unanimously to provide Rod Davis with a building next door to Town Hall. Davis owns Big Star supermarkets in Florence, St. Florian and Russellville.
The building is the former home of the town’s water board, which was dissolved when the council took over the operations of the Water Department.
“We passed a resolution to go ahead and give the property to him,” Copeland said.
Davis said he has signed a contract with the town for the use of the building, but there is still work to be done on his end.
“The bottom line is, I’m still working on the financing,” Davis said. “I’m still putting the numbers together.”
He also has to price equipment and inventory, and renovations to the building.
The contract between Littleville and Davis does not include a lease payment. The town would be compensated through the tax revenue generated by store sales.
Copeland said the lease is for 12 years. If the store closes before that time, the town will take possession of the building which is about 10 years old, the mayor said.
Copeland said he estimates the store would generate about $60,000 a year in sales tax revenue.
“It’s going to be good for our citizens,” Copeland said. “People have told us they will do business with Big Star.”
A grocery store in Littleville would likely attract shoppers from a “several mile radius” around Littleville, Copeland said.
He said the additional tax revenue would help, but would not replace the nearly $20,000-$25,000 per month in alcohol tax revenue the town received before surrounding communities such as Moulton and Russellville legalized alcohol sales.
Today the town receives about $2,000-$2,500 per month in alcohol tax revenue.
Copeland said he didn’t think the loss would be as much as it has been.
“I thought it would hit us about 50 percent,” he said. “It cut into our budget big time.”
Kenneth Brooks, governmental services director at the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments, said the town has secured a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant to improve the entrance to the proposed supermarket.
Littleville will contribute $63,000, bringing the total cost of the improvements to $263,000, Brooks said.
The project involves adding turn lanes on U.S. 43 and enlarging the entrance to accommodate additional lanes.
Brooks said the road improvements will have to be approved by the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Transportation Department Maintenance Engineer Mark Dale said they have spoken informally to Littleville officials about the project.
“We’ll have to look at it and see what they’ve got,” Dale said. “They will have to meet all the requirements for access management.”
Copeland said the grocery store could lead to other businesses moving to Littleville.
“I hope one thing leads to another and we get some businesses in here to provide some revenue for us,” he said.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.