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New industrial park construction continues

VERBENA — Anyone who drives just west of I-65 Exit 200 near Verbena will see signs of progress underway.

Dirt is being moved to make way for Central Alabama Electric Co-Op, the first company to locate to Chilton County’s new industrial park.

The company, headquartered in Pine Level, is combining its Autauga and Chilton line construction crews to form a new operations center at the Verbena area site.

“This is just the right time for us to build the building,” said Carl Mims, West Operations Manager for Central Alabama Electric Co-Op, explaining that the cost of materials have gone down and the new project is creating jobs for people.

The dirt work and pad for CAEC’s new structure, which will be located to the right of the park’s main entrance, is slated for completion in mid-May. Construction on the facility should begin shortly thereafter, barring delays.

“It’s going to take about nine months to get the building built,” Mims estimated.

The site will house offices, cubicles for technicians, a warehouse, and company trucks. It will be a sister to CAE’s other operations center located in Titus, north of Wetumpka. Mims said the new center will increase company efficiency and boost development along Exit 200.

Five sites that make up about 55 acres, in addition to the Central Alabama Electric site, will be available to potential future companies. To the left of the park’s entrance will be a “spec building,” or an empty metal hull of a building, constructed for that purpose. The idea is to make the site more attractive to prospects by providing infrastructure.

“If you don’t have a building for somebody to look at, you’re left out in the cold,” Mims said.