AGCOR making the move to Good Hope

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The Good Hope City Council passed a resolution Monday night to allow Mayor Jerry Bartlett, right, to enter into an agreement with AGCOR Steel. / Nick Griffin

GOOD HOPE – AGCOR Steel is moving to Good Hope. The Good Hope City Council on Monday night passed a resolution allowing Mayor Jerry Bartlett to enter an agreement with the company. AGCOR, which will build on 53 acres on Industrial Drive, will be Good Hope’s first manufacturer. Bartlett said the company will add up to 20 new jobs and is expected to have annual sales of $8-$10 million.  

AGCOR’s move is the result of a joint effort between the City of Good Hope, City of Cullman and Cullman County. AGCOR is spending $400,000 on the project, with the three local governments each providing $133,333 in tax incentives, said Bartlett.

AGCOR, a manufacturer of metal building components, was being wooed by the city of Gadsden before this deal was put into place.

“They outgrew their place in Vinemont, but they wanted to stay in Cullman,” said Bartlett. “They went to the (Cullman County) Commission, and they found them a place in Berlin, and there was a big to-do about that. They met with (Rep.) Corey (Harbison) and myself. Gadsden really wanted them. But (owner) Zac (Smith) is from Cullman, and he likes Cullman and he wanted to be in Cullman. I think Gadsden was making them some offers of some land. Basically, what we gave them, they already had that in hand from Gadsden. I told Corey, we just can’t compete with that. Zac went to (Cullman Economic Development Agency Director) Dale Greer. The more we sat down and ran the numbers, the more it really made sense.”

Bartlett said Cullman County Economic Development Director Cherrie Haney, Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker, Harbison, Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs, Smith and himself all came together in Good Hope to hammer out the details.

“They bought 53 acres here in Good Hope, over on Industrial Drive, and that land was $400,000. So, we divided that by three,” said Bartlett. “We’re only giving them a portion of what they produce, so this is not going to hurt anybody. So out of what they produce, and it’s projected $8-$10 million in the first year. Based on those figures, it’s going to be paid off, we’re giving them eight years, it’s going to be paid off probably before that. In the unlikelihood that they didn’t produce what they say, we give them a half cent off what they produce, and at the end of eight years, if they haven’t produced enough to pay back the $400,000, we’ve fulfilled our part. The premise is we’re creating a pile of money here, and we’re going to give them back a small portion of it over a while and then after that it’s all for the city of Good Hope, and the city of Cullman and Good Hope, because we all share in what they produce.”

So what does all of this mean for Good Hope?

“It promotes our local economic and commercial development, stimulates the local economy, increases employment opportunities, it means the expansion of our infrastructure and the expansion of the city’s tax base, which results in increased tax revenue,” said Bartlett.

“Good Hope is supplying them (AGCOR) with a pump station through our sewer expansion. That’s an extra $250,000. We are applying for a Community Development Block Grant for that. The cogs are already turning on that.”

Revenue from Good Hope’s new half-cent sales tax is being used for the city’s portion of the tax incentive.

“We recently passed a half-cent sales tax here to come in line with a majority of the other municipalities,” said the mayor. “When we did that, (Councilwoman) Susan Eller recommended that we put that half-cent sales tax in a separate account and earmark it for economic development. We did that. So now, this money that we passed that (resolution) for is going toward that project.”

Shared Bartlett, “Dale Greer and Cherrie Haney have both helped in this, along with the city and the county, and Corey’s been very helpful, along with my council. It’s very exciting for Good Hope.”

The City of Cullman and the Cullman County Commission will now have to pass resolutions so the arrangement with AGCOR will be finalized.

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