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Mar-Jac gets tax abatement extension

In a special called meeting Monday for the Franklin County Commission, only three items graced the agenda. The first, and arguably most impactful, was a revision to the tax abatement agreement with Mar-Jac Poultry.

Mar-Jac, which is set to soon begin construction on a chicken feed mill in Spruce Pine, requested an increase in tax abatement to reflect the fact the company now anticipates investing nearly $34 million into the local project, rather than the initial prospective $25 million.

Monday’s vote also extended the timeframe for the tax abatement, from the end of 2016 to the end of 2017 “because of the delays they ran into with the Corps of Engineers and Alabama Historical Commission,” economic development director Mitch Mays said.

The commission voted unanimously for these changes.

The corporation will break ground in the next few weeks.

The county also officially declared emergency conditions related to the flooding over the holidays, which caused extensive road damage. FEMA has already been in the area to assess the damage.

“We should know within a couple of days,” said EMA director Jody Hitt.

In its final order of business for the special called meeting, the commission went into executive session to discuss the “good name and character” of someone in the Solid Waste Department. Following this executive session, the county voted to place department manager Philip Willson on administrative leave with pay until further notice.