Council approves abatements

News Staff Writer

Atmore City Council, sitting a member short, approved tax abatements for two industrial concerns and held the first reading of another proposed tax abatement. The council also continued a municipal beautification project by declaring 21 properties as grass and weed nuisances.
The council voted 3-0, with District 5’s Chris Harrison abstaining, to grant an abatement to Alto Products on the purchase of “at least $2 million” worth of equipment the company purchased. The new equipment will reportedly create nearly two dozen new jobs at the local industry. The measure was first introduced at the council’s August 26 session.
The second item, also carried over from the council’s August 26 meeting, gave approval to an abatement of property taxes to H.O. Weaver & Sons, a Mobile-based company that plans to build an asphalt plant here.
Michael Weaver, the company’s senior vice president, said after the meeting that the company has purchased the property behind Plains Trucking, near the junction of Woods Road and Alabama 21.
“We have bush-hogged it and done soil boring, but nothing else,” Weaver said.
A third abatement request came from Tiger-Sul Products, which asked for an amendment to its original abatement because of cost over-runs in the rebuilding of the facility, which was destroyed by fire in 2017.
“This is a little bit unusual, since it’s the replacement for an existing facility, so state has waived some of the usual requirements about timing,” said Preston Bolt, the company’s attorney. “It’s for a cost overrun over what was anticipated when we first applied for the abatement; it’s an amendment to the existing abatement.”
Since District 4’s Susan Smith, who was attending a four-day Delta Regional Authority session, was not present, the measure must be held for final approval until the next council meeting.
The council then turned its attention to the nuisance properties, giving unanimous approval to the declaration. The list of properties includes two each on Bullard Street, Brooks Lane, Perch Street, Rockaway Creek Road, South Presley Street and Wilson Avenue; four on Liberty Street, and one each on Ann, Harris, Hollis, Howard and Maxwell streets.
Harrison asked if any of the property owners were “serial offenders,” and Codes Official Chris Black replied that some were. The measure was then unanimously approved.
City Attorney Larry Wettermark addressed the council immediately prior to adjournment, suggesting the council hold a retreat or workshop to discuss “a number of long-term projects and goals” in an informal setting.
The informal meeting will be held at 4 p.m. next Monday, September 16, at a location still to be determined.