West Fraser receives Maplesville tax break for expansion

Published 10:43 am Tuesday, September 13, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE| Managing Editor

West Fraser Maplesville Mill is investing $76.9 million in upgrades and expansion.

The Maplesville Town Council unanimously approved waiving the sales and use tax on the upgrades during its Sept. 12 meeting. A 10-year tax abatement on the increase in the property value for the upgrade was also approved. Meaning the company will continue to pay the same amount of property tax to the town that it paid prior to the expansion for 10 years.

Dustin Moberg, manager of the Maplesville Mill, said the expansion would add a few positions at the mill because a second shift would be added to the planer machine department.

The expansion includes a new trim line, a log pro crane and a new merchandiser. Moberg said the upgrades will allow the mill to produce additional sizes of boards. Right now, the mill only does 2x4s and 2x6s.

Mayor W.C. Hayes emphasized that approving the tax abatement kept jobs in the town.

He said application has also been made for about $3 million to connect the site to a sewer system. However, a response to the application has not been received.

This tax abatement only covers the Maplesville taxes. A separate agreement would have to be approved by the Chilton County Commission for the county property taxes to be waived.

Later in the meeting, Moberg presented a $5,000 donation to the Maplesville Police Department toward purchasing a side-by-side.

The Old Fashioned Christmas committee received some good news at the meeting as Town Clerk Dawn Smitherman announced that the town had been awarded a $6,500 tourism grant to pay for the festival for this year. Old Fashioned Christmas will be held on Dec. 4 from 2:30-5:30 p.m. downtown.

The council also approved $2 an hour raises for all street department and office employees. Council member Shelia Hall said she would like the council to look at having raises tied to an individual performance instead of giving across the board increases. She pointed out that the police department has already moved to a performance review model. Council member Patty Crocker said they need to have someone who would do the performance evaluations. Council member Ray Charles Mitchell said the council also needs to address that there are two police officers that could make more than the police chief because they can get overtime. Hayes said this is something that would need to be addressed in a future meeting.

The next meeting of the Maplesville Council has been moved to Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. at town hall.