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EDC extends grant for car dealership

By Bob Buckel | Published Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Decatur Economic Development Corp. on Thursday approved another $42,675 for utilities for a new facility for Karl Klement Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep on U.S. 287 North.

That grant, which is in addition to $261,500 already authorized to bring water and sewer lines to the property, will boost the size of the water line from the required 8-inch to a 12-inch line, better equipping the city to deal with future growth in the area.

The long-established Decatur business plans to build a $4.5 million facility north of its current Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep store on U.S. 287 North.

Thursday’s grant amounts to half of the city’s cost to upgrade the line. The city will pay $42,675 from its impact fee fund to cover the other half.

The action – assuming it wins approval at Monday’s Decatur City Council meeting – would bring the EDC’s total investment in “Project Walter” to just over $304,000.

The EDC board encouraged Executive Director Jody Adams to make it clear that the EDC has done its part for the effort, which will create an estimated 50 additional jobs when finished.

“They need to know that the EDC’s involvement in this project is complete,” board member Roy Eaton said.

PROPERTY PURCHASED

Adams also updated board members on the purchase of a tract of land for future development.

The nearly 3-acre tract of land in north Decatur is under contract at a price of $77,824. Eaton suggested the EDC look at adjacent property that may be owned by the city, county and school district, and see if it might be purchased. The property, which may have been seized for back taxes, could connect the EDC’s property to the U.S. 380 bypass.

“If we could double the size of that property and get access to 380, that’s just a bonus,” Eaton said. Adams said he would approach the title company. The board also heard a financial report from city finance director Brad Burnett and reviewed marketing efforts and upcoming events before going into a budget planning session.

The EDC gets a half-cent from the city’s 1.5-cent sales tax and uses those funds to assist projects that will create jobs and bring more value to the city of Decatur.

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