Council welcomes new company and jobs

City of Oneonta

With Mayor Darryl Ray’s projection of more than 100 new jobs, the Oneonta City Council at its latest regular session granted tax abatements to two firms. Tennessee Valley Metals (TVM) has purchased the old Southern Comfort building in the city’s industrial park and will soon consolidate facilities there from three other locations. The move will entail the transfer of between 30 and 40 employees. The company makes extended canopies, covers, and awnings for large commercial users, particularly schools.

McMillian Fabrication Works Inc., off Champion Rd., plans a million-dollar expansion, which Ray asserts will eventually raise its workforce from its current 59 to around 130. The tax abatements, as permitted under Alabama law, will apply to all state and local non-educational ad valorem taxes. TVM’s abatement runs for three years on its anticipated $300,000 capital investment; McMillian’s will cover five years with its larger expenditure.

Taxi service

Jim Parsons appeared before the council, seeking information on licensing for taxi service in the city and county. Parsons explained he works for Blount County Transportation and has seen the need for taxi service on weekends and at other hours when his employer does not operate.

The city did not include taxi service in its latest license schedule. City manager Ed Lowe indicated he has checked with other cities, who have such service, to determine a fair figure. Lowe promised an answer for Parsons at the next regular council session.

Responding to questioning by councilman Danny Robinson, Parsons explained that he will begin his service with only one vehicle. He said he hopes to expand operations later.

Personnel, stimulus resolution, and paving

Councilmen approved adding Jeremiah Johnson and Thomas D. Churchey as volunteer firefighters. Members also approved Sue Sims’s appointment to the city beautification board. That board had recommended the appointment at the previous council meeting. Beautification board chair Marlene Stroud later introduced Sims to the council.

The council also approved a resolution committing itself to purchasing American made products whenever possible with any stimulus money it might receive from the national government. Clarence Brown, representing the United Steel Workers who spearheaded the consideration, attended the session. Lowe reported the city has requested over $10 million from the economic recovery fund. Despite the request, he says the city does not anticipate receiving anywhere near that amount.

The council formally accepted Jackson Paving’s bid of $52.98 per ton of asphalt for repaving approximately 7.4 miles of city streets. Lowe had previously informed The Blount Countian that the bid would stay within its budgeted amount for the project.

In addition to Ray and Robinson, all other councilors (Hal Buckelew, Mark Gargus, Tim McNair, and Ross Norris) attended the March 24 session. The council holds its regular meetings the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in its council chambers.