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Clanton leaves Industrial Development Authority

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Clanton City Council has approved ending its participation in the Chilton County Industrial Development Authority.

The vote took place on April 26 with Mayor Jeff Mims and City Council members Awlahjaday Agee, Billy Singleton, Wade Watley and Don Driver voting in favor. Council member Mary Mell Smith voted against.

“We have our own industrial development committee, and I think we are going to be fine,” Mims said.

Smith disagreed with leaving the IDA.

“I don’t think it is a good idea,” Smith said. “I don’t think it’s good for the city of Clanton.”

Clanton’s industrial development committee is one of several that were approved soon after Mims became mayor. The committee will serve in an advisory role with any decisions needing to be made going to the City Council for consideration.

The committee is currently reviewing properties that the city owns and what it might want to sell, according to Mims.

The IDA board has representation appointed by the Chilton County Commission, Maplesville Town Council, Jemison City Council and the Thorsby Town Council. The Clanton City Council also had appointed representation. Singleton had recently stepped down from serving on the IDA board, and a replacement had not been named. Bobby Cook had also been serving on behalf of the city of Clanton.

Also on April 26, The Clanton City Council unanimously approved ending its contracts with NextSite and Daniel Communities. NextSite had been hired to work on securing businesses for the Interstate 65, Exit 212 corridor. Daniel Communities would have been the council’s real estate agent related to projects on property it was looking to purchase in that area.

The option the Clanton City Council had on property at Exit 212 has since expired.

The Chilton County Commission is moving toward purchasing a portion of what the city had a previous option on. The Commission has approved moving forward with purchasing approximately nine acres owned by Sammy Ellison. The property has been described as the entrance to the planned Alabama Farm Center, which is to be built on adjoining land. The IDA is paying for environmental studies to be done on the Ellison property.

The Chilton County Commission has also negotiated a contract with NextSite in connection with the development of the Ellison property.