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Business park holds grand opening

The Morgan Center Business Park in Hartselle celebrated the completion of Phase I construction with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house on Thurs., Nov. 2.

The event attracted more than 100 elected and appointed officials, business owners and managers and job recruiters to the front entrance of the 135-acre facility for the 2 p.m. ceremony.

Jeremy Nails, president and CEO for Morgan County Economic Development Association, described the project as “one that required many years of cooperation and hard work and a vision to create a new first-class business park.”

“This park will be the catalyst for the creation of new jobs and investment in Morgan County for many years to come,” he added.

Frederick L. “Pete” Schaum, senior project manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce, was impressed with what he saw.

“It’s a great park,” he pointed out. “It’s going to be a gateway for business growth. I wish we had more like it throughout the state”

“This is an important first step in letting investors know that we’re serious about growing jobs and creating economic prosperity,” said Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long. “It also demonstrates what can be accomplished when public-spirited citizens work together for a common cause.”

“This is a great day for Morgan County,” Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. “The potential impact this park can have on economic development in this area is almost unlimited.”

Phase I of the business park began with a ceremonial groundbreaking in Nov. 2009 and construction followed in July 2011. The project included a major water and waste water extension project as well as the construction of a new entrance feature, road, landscaping and full utility improvement throughout the park. This multi-phase development provides excellent location opportunities for advanced manufacturing, office and logistics facilities as well as high-tech industries looking to locate in the southeast United States.

The park has been a joint effort of the seven municipalities within Morgan County, the Morgan County Commission and the Decatur-Morgan County Port Authority, which make up the Cooperative District. This is the second project that the district’s members have worked together on, the first being the successful development of Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park in Decatur.

The Cooperative District Board consists of one representative from each of the following: Decatur, Hartselle, Priceville, Somerville, Trinity, Morgan County and Decatur-Morgan County Port Authority.