Commission approves tax incentive for hotel

Published 11:11 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Chilton County Commission approved a tax rebate for Mansa Hospitality LLC to bring a hotel to Interstate 65, Exit 205 during a special called meeting on Aug. 16.

The meeting was held after the regularly scheduled work session, and the commission held a 30-minute executive session to discuss future plans at Exit 205.

A rebate of 3% of the lodging tax the hotel brings in “not to exceed $1 million and not to exceed 10 years” will be given “to Mansa Hospitality LLC to promote the local economic development of Chilton County,” under the Amendment 679 provisions, according to the motion by Commissioner Allen Williams.

The motion was passed 5-2. Williams, Randell Kelley, Darrell Bone, Joe Headley and Chairman Jimmie Hardee voted for the resolution. Commissioner Matthew Mims and Joseph Parnell voted against it.

A previous motion by Mims “providing a lodging tax rebate of 3%, not to exceed $600,000 over 72 months, to Mansa Hospitality LLC to promote the local economic development of Chilton County” had failed. Parnell seconded the resolution, but commissioners Headley, Hardee, Kelley, Bone and Williams voted against it.

Amendment 679, promotion of economic and industrial development in Chilton County, states “Chilton County, the Chilton County Commission and the city council of each municipality located in the county, shall have, independently or in cooperation with one or more of such governmental entities, full and continuing power … to promote local industrial, commercial, or agricultural development and the location of new industries or businesses therein … lend its credit or to grant public moneys and things of value in aid of, or to any individual, firm, association, or corporation whatsoever.”

During the work session, the commission listened to public comments about the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office hiring a victim advocate position for victims of domestic violence. A presentation was given describing how the advocate would work with local law enforcement and how they can assist during investigations.

Ashley Liveoak, executive director of Care Net of Chilton County, told the commission what services Care Net provides and classes they have moving forward, such as the Parent University program starting on Sept. 19 at Thorsby High School.

Laura Jones spoke to the commission about them considering giving retired county employees a bonus that is available to them. The bonus, which has not been approved since 2015, would give retirees $24 per year of service. Parnell said the county bridged the gap of health insurance for retirees until social security picked it up. Hardee said the commission will consider the resolution for the bonus at their next meeting.

The sheriff’s office will request an officer be reclassified from a school resource officer to a salary officer at the next meeting. Sheriff John Shearon said the CCSO is looking for two officers to fill SRO spots, and anyone interested and qualified should contact the sheriff’s office for more information at 205-755-4698.

The commission received one bid for IT services from Novacom and will vote on receiving and approving the bids next meeting.

Road department engineer Tony Wearren will have a few resolutions to remove and add some employees to the payroll at the next meeting. Wearren will also request a resolution to pave a portion of County Road 15 until it hits Highway 82.

Wearren brought the discussions of RV parks he has had in recent weeks to the commission’s attention. Wearren said the subdivision regulations do not address RV parks, and he requested the commission’s help with how to deal with them. Hardee said Wearren and some of the commissioners will look over the subdivision regulations and bring the issue to another work session once they are clear.

The Humane Society of Chilton County came to address some of the concerns brought to Hardee by citizens around the county. Some of the concerns were about the hours of operation at the shelter and animal intake.

Representatives from the Humane Society said their public hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. The shelter is also open on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Hardee said he wanted to invite the humane society to discuss these concerns, so he could have direction to tell concerned residents.

The Aug. 23 meeting will be the second for the Industrial Development Authority board nominations.