Valley Joist to Expand in Fort Payne
March 21, 2019
Southern Torch (3842 articles)
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Valley Joist to Expand in Fort Payne

By Marla Jones,Managing Editor • marla@southerntorch.com

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — The Fort Payne City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 19.

Reverend John Mathieu, opened the meeting with prayer. Mathieu recently retired as Pastor of Grace Prebysterian Church. Mayor Larry Chesser presented Mathieu with a Proclamation from the City honoring him for his service.  

“He is involved in the community, the church and all those activities, jail ministry and has become a valued member of our community” stated Chesser.

“We love this community.  It is a wonderful and beautiful place to live.  A community that loves well and supports people well.” said Mathieu. 

Erin Franklin of the Muscular Dystrophy Association presented Fort Payne Fire Chief Ron Saferite with a plaque for the fire departments support of the MDA.

Living Stone Ministries students, who are interested in government, were recognized for their attendance at the meeting. 

City Clerk Andy Parker brought before the council three items. He reported that he had spoken with the City’s insurance carrier and that hopefully by the end of the week, a settlement should be reached on the Public Works Building.   The Council chose to discuss with the artichect, in an April 1 meeting, on whether to save the building or tear the building down and replace with a metal building. 

The Parks and Recreation Board budgeted $21,000 to purchase a tractor to be used at the Sports Complex. After some confusion on whether the particular tractor that was needed, was on the State Bid List, City Attorney Rocky Watson suggested that bids be authorized at the Tuesday meeting and if the tractor could be purchased on bid list instead of open bid, to proceed. 

The last item that Parker presented was prices for (11) baby changing stations in the amount of $2,475.  The question was what  budget this would come out of.  It was decided that wherever the stations were installed, it would come out of that particular budget. The stations would be installed in the Civitan Park, The Coal and Iron Building, Recreation Department and Rotary Pavilion.

Jimmy Durham, Executive Director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Authority (DCEDA) and Pam Clay, Director of Business Retention and Expansion at DCEDA, addressed the Council on the progress of “Project Scout” now known as the Valley Joist project  The Valley Joist company has been in Fort Payne for 25 years, brings in 12 million a year in wages alone,  for the community and an all total of 55 million total per year. The company had looked at different states including Georgia, Louisanna, Virginia and Tennessee for expansion. The approval of the abatement is keeping Valley Joist + Deck in Fort Payne.  

 “Through the cooperation of all the utilities, Jimmy’s office, the State of Alabama, this City Council, the  Fort Payne Industrial Development  Board, not only have you saved approximately  150 jobs but we have the promise of adding 50 new jobs within the next 5 years,” said City Attorney, Rocky Watson. 

Highlights of Valley Joist expanding for our area include: The company plans on spending 8 million dollars for the new deal. They will provide: 15 new jobs by 2 years,  30 new jobs in the next 3 years,  45 by 4 years and 50 jobs by the 5th year.  If the company does not meet 80% of the new job quota, the company will pay $20,000 per job not created.  They signed the Continuous Open Commitment stating that if they are not continuously open within two years, the will pay the City of Fort Payne one million days.  If they are not continually open within the 5 year anniversary, they will pay the City of Fort Payne 800,000.

The Council passed Resolution 2019-16, amending Resolution 2019-05, which granted tax abatements to “Project Scout” now known as the Valley Joist project.  Also, approved  the Memorandum of Understanding needs. 

The Council approved the following:

  • Alcohol License for San Jose Fine Mexican Restaurant, 904 Gault Avenue North.
  • Appointed Neal Baine to a second term on the Fort Payne School Board
  • Streetlight request by Matt Hood, 1502 Gault Avenue South
  • Set the tentative date of Tuesday, July 2nd with a makeup date of Wednesday, July 3rd as the Independence Day Celebration.

The next meeting of the Fort Payne CIty Council will be held at 12pm on April 2 on the second floor of the City Hall.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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