Cullman City Council moves forward on sporting goods store

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The council and guests took time to wish a happy birthday to Hannah Jacobs, daughter of Mayor Woody Jacobs on Monday, June 24, 2024. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman City Council on Monday approved an agreement that brings a new sporting goods store expected to be an Academy Sports + Outdoors a step closer to opening on the city’s south side. The council approved a “772 agreement” with developer MTN, Ltd. 

A 772 agreement, based on Alabama State Constitution amendment 772, allows a municipality like Cullman to:

(1) Use public funds to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire real property, buildings, plants, factories, facilities, machinery, and equipment of any kind, or to utilize the properties heretofore purchased or otherwise acquired, and improve and develop the properties for use as sites for industry of any kind or as industrial park projects, including, but not limited to, grading and the construction of roads, drainage, sewers, sewage and waste disposal systems, parking areas, and utilities to serve the sites or projects.

(2) Lease, sell, grant, exchange, or otherwise convey, on terms approved by the governing body of the county or the municipality, as applicable, all or any part of any real property, buildings, plants, factories, facilities, machinery, and equipment of any kind or industrial park project to any individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity, public or private, including any industrial development board or other public corporation or authority heretofore or hereafter created by the county or the municipality, for the purpose of constructing, developing, equipping, and operating industrial, commercial, research, or service facilities of any kind.

(3) Lend its credit to or grant public funds and things of value in aid of or to any individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity, public or private, for the purpose of promoting the economic and industrial development of the county or the municipality.

(4) Become indebted and issue bonds, warrants which may be payable from funds to be realized in future years, notes, or other obligations, or evidences of indebtedness to a principal amount not exceeding 50 percent of the assessed value of taxable property therein as determined for state taxation, in order to secure funds for the purchase, construction, lease, or acquisition of any of the property described in subdivision or to be used in furtherance of any of the other powers or authorities granted in this amendment. The obligations or evidences of indebtedness may be issued upon the full faith and credit of the county or any municipality or may be limited as to the source of their payment.

According to a legal notice run prior to the council meeting, “The City would be obligated to remit and pay to the Developer, from 50% of the proceeds of the City’s sales and use tax (presently levied by the City at a rate of 1.75%) from retail sales made within the Project, up to the maximum amount of not to exceed $1,167,000, for a period of up to ten (10) years from the opening of the Project.”  The tax abatement will exempt the business from a portion of city sales and use taxes, but will still require that the City retain all education taxes collected.”

Regarding the same project, the Cullman County Commission on June 18 approved a sales tax rebate to the store for half of the County’s portion of sales tax received, capped at $833,000 and 10 years.

The council also:

  • Held a public hearing for an ordinance to rezone property at 309 Olive St. SW (behind Lin Garden and across from Rock N’ Roll Sushi) from residential to business, with no one speaking for or against the ordinance. The council can vote on the ordinance at its next meeting.
  • Approved a resolution to apply for state and federal funds for improvement projects at Cullman Regional Airport for fiscal year 2025
  • Approved special event permits for WellStone, Inc. to host the 2024 Oktoberfest 5K/10K run on Oct. 5, 2024, and for Blake Photo and Video to record a video in the downtown parking deck on June 30, 2024

The Cullman City Council meets on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in Cullman City Hall auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

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