IDA purchases Farm Center wetland credits on behalf of county and Clanton

Published 11:03 am Monday, December 27, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Industrial Development Authority is set to finalize the purchase of needed wetland credits for the Alabama Farm Center site today.

The Chilton County Commission had previously approved paying $875,000 to secure the wetlands credits required to be able to develop on the site.

In a Dec. 22 meeting, the Clanton City Council unanimously approved paying half of this amount.

Mayor Jeff Mims said the IDA will purchase the credits, and ownership of the credits will then be transferred to Chilton County and the city of Clanton.

He said meetings with Afla/ Alabama Farmers Federation leadership were being discussed for later in the week to work out additional details of the Alabama Farm Center project. A tentative timeline outlined in the memorandum of understating the commission, Alabama Agriculture and Exhibition Center Cooperative District board and Alabama Farmers Federation through its Alabama Rural Economic Center has not been possible. This non-binding agreement had construction of Phase 1 of the project estimated at June 15.

Since the Alabama Farm Center may not need the full 524 acres of the project site, one possibility being discussed is dividing the land between the Alabama Farm Center and a local development by the city and the county that would complement the Farm Center.

These wetland credits are site specific and only apply to the Farm Center project site.

Wetland credits are required in order to disturb wetlands at the project site by paying to support wetlands protections in another area.

Alfa/ Alabama Farmers Federation did not purchase the credits by the Dec. 17 deadline, so local government leaders approved purchasing them in order to keep the project moving forward.