By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Among the major business conducted during the Monday, July 12, meeting of the Atmore City Council, a resolution was passed that will help a local industry with its expansion plans, and a much-needed piece of equipment was purchased for the city’s streets and sanitation department.
The first order of business was the amendment of a tax abatement granted several years ago to Alto Products, a transmission parts manufacturer located in Atmore Industrial Park.
Kevin Godwin, financial controller for the factory, said the amendment to the abatement — which allows the company to purchase significant equipment and supplies without paying sales taxes on the purchases — would allow the company to expand the size of its manufacturing facility and the scope of its business.
Godwin explained that Alto is planning to buy about $2.5 million worth of new equipment, including two cranes, an auto maintenance lift, storage racks and other equipment and fixtures. The company also plans to construct an $800,000 building addition.
“There will actually be two different additions,” Godwin said. “There will be a 4,500 square foot production area expansion and a 7,200 square foot tooling room. And there’s quite a list of equipment we want to buy.”
After a unanimous vote to approve the amended abatement, Mayor Jim Staff expressed his pleasure over the expansion plans.
“Alto has always been a good business partner,” the mayor said. “We appreciate y’all expanding; that means we’re getting better.”
The purchase of a skid steer (commonly known as a Bobcat) for the city’s public works department was the final item on the meeting agenda. The measure passed by a 5-0 vote.
The new machine will feature a bucket with grappling hook and heavy-duty brush cutters for keeping ditches clean. It will be bought off the state bid list for $107,493.
Staff said the city has needed such a piece of equipment for a long time.
“Here’s the good news,” the mayor said. “It’s a great addition; we’ve needed it forever.”
In between the Alto measure and the Bobcat purchase, the council approved the following items, each by a 5-0 vote:
*The closing of a portion of Patterson Street for the Saturday, July 24, Community Fun Day.
*The use of Houston Avery Park for a car show scheduled for 3 p.m. on August 6.
*A change in the name on the retail beer and table wine license held by Fast Lane on Jack Springs Road, from RKY LLC to DISHA LLC 4. The change had been approved by the Alabama ABC Board prior to its coming before the council.