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Local investors to add 70 jobs

Local investors are planning to reopen an interior door plant in the Hartselle-Morgan County Industrial Park, bringing as many as 70 jobs back to Hartselle.

Dr. Russell Hulse, his brother Ron and other local residents received a tax abatement from the Hartselle City Council to help them reopen the plant, which was closed by Jeld-Wen last year.

The investors will open the plant under the name Excel Interior Door with plans to employ 35 employees initially.

Morgan County Economic Development President Jeremy Nails said the company plans to bring that number to 70 within three years.

“This is a unique opportunity, in that local investors are helping to reopen a plant that was closed,” Nails said.

Nails said the investors are planning to spend around $2.9 million in renovations and new equipment.

The council granted the abatement on sales, use and property taxes up to 10 years. The cost of the tax abatement will be about $19,000 in state sales and use taxes, $9,750 in city sales and use taxes and about $10,000 in property taxes.

The education taxes will still be collected on the property, as required by state law.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley fully endorsed the project at Monday’s work session.

“It will be my recommendation that the city approve this tax abatement,” Tankersley said. “I’m very excited to see jobs coming back to Hartselle and the industrial park. We hope this a trend that will continue.

The measure passed unanimously.

Jeld-Wen closed its doors in late 2010, leaving about 50 people without jobs. The company said then that it was due to the downturn in the economy, especially in the housing market.

This is the second tax abatement given by the City Council this year. Sonoco Products also received an abatement when it decided to build another plant here.

In other business, the council:

• approved a frequency reconfiguration agreement with Sprint Nextel and the Morgan County Emergency Management Communications District. Chief Ron Puckett said Sprint bought some of the 800 MHz frequencies in our area, which will conflict with the Hartselle Police Department’s private radio frequencies in the 800 MHz band.

• Approved a parade permit for the J.P. Cain Stadium Run for the Hartselle Quarterback Club on July 16.

• Approved a parade permit for Liberty Baptist Church to hold a tractor parade around its church on July 2 at 9 a.m.

• Adjusted the park and recreation budget to include a donation from Sen. Arthur Orr to help make improvements to the park for the 7-8-year-old state tournament.

• Approved a budget adjustment to the administration budget to account for a $1,500 increase in fees due to bond issues.

• Went into executive session to discuss an easement issue in the planning jurisdiction of the city regarding a piece of property off of Wallace Drive.

• Canceled its next work session scheduled for Monday, June 27.