Jemison Council approves economic grant
By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer
The Jemison City Council unanimously approved allowing Mayor Eddie Reed to execute an economic grant for up to $175,000 for Wadsworth Oil Company for a $2 million project during a special called meeting on May 30.
Councilmen George Brasher and Robert Morris had prior obligations and were unable to attend.
Wadsworth Oil Company is planning to invest $2 million in the reconstruction and expansion of the current Shell station on Highway 31 next to Marion Bank and Trust.
The grant will be paid to the company “in monthly installments based on the volume of Motor Fuels sold at the Project,” according to the resolution.
Such a grant opportunity was made possible through amendment 679 to the state constitution allowing city councils “to lend its credit to grant public funds and things of value in aid of or to any corporation or other business entity for the purpose of promoting the economic development of the City.”
The company purchased a former Chevron station on the site and converted it to Shell about a year ago. According to attorney Hollis Jackson, who represented the company in reaching an agreement with the city for renovation, the building will be torn down and built larger.
The project is expected to create the equivalent of three to five full-time jobs.
Councilman Rex Bittle and Mayor Eddie Reed expressed their excitement for the project and how it will improve the look of Highway 31 during the meeting.
“We want to thank you for looking at Jemison and investing in our city,” Reed said. “We are so grateful and proud.”
James Wadsworth, owner of Wadsworth Oil Company, in turn thanked the mayor for the opportunity to partner.
“We want to improve Jemison as much as anybody, so I think we will have something that we will be proud of and that the City of Jemison will be proud of,” Wadsworth said. We look forward to growing our business hear.”
City attorney Jeff Brumlow, who also worked on the agreement, said there was an update that includes necessary exhibits.
This included the legal description of the property, the plans for sewer to the site and a architectural rendering of the convenience store portion of the company.
Jackson said the new facility would have more gasoline pumps, larger store area and commercial diesel options compared to the current gas station.
The design will be similar to one Wadsworth Oil recently opened in Bessemer.
Jackson said he appreciated the “negotiations and open dialogue” the city has had during the process.
Reed said this is the first time the city has approved a grant of this kind.
The company will be going to the Jemison planning commission with a request to divide the land that Wadsworth Oil has purchased near the site.
Wadsworth Oil Company operates Shell and Marathon gasoline stations with the convenience store The Store in Central Alabama, two of which are in Clanton.
The company headquarters are also in Clanton.