Volkswagen talk pushes industrial park to forefront
By By Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
If Volkswagen decides to locate a manufacturing plant in neighboring Limestone County, property at the planned industrial park in Hartselle could be a prime location for suppliers and other businesses wanting to serve the German automaker.
The Morgan County Industrial Park and Economic Development Cooperative District elected officers last week, the first step in the letting of $15 million in bonds to pay for roads, utilities and other infrastructure at the site. The organization is led by Jeremy Nails of the Morgan County Economic Development Association, who will serve as chairman, and Mayor Dwight Tankersley, vice chairman.
Tankersley said the proximity to the proposed Volkswagen plant could be a huge selling point to perspective businesses.
The industrial park will have easy access to the interstate and Calhoun Community College’s $71 million robotics plant and would be about 20 minutes from the Volkswagen site.
Volkswagen officials said they would announce their location by the end of July and industry speculation has narrowed the list to the Limestone County site and another in Tennessee. The plant could create as many as 2,000 jobs.
The new park will be funded by Decatur, Morgan County, Hartselle, Trinity, Eva, Falkville, Somerville and Priceville through funds they receive from the Tennessee Valley Authority, with each contributing based on the percentage of its yearly TVA allotment. Decatur and Morgan County will be the largest contributors, funding some 48 percent and 36 percent respectively. Hartselle will contribute some 11 percent of the cost.
The industrial park will compliment the existing Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park in Decatur. The participants had been using the TVA funds to pay for that park but that commitment expired last year, freeing up the money for the new development.