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Council agrees to buy property

Andalusia’s Industrial Park is likely to grow in size in the next 90 days.

Tuesday, the city council unanimously authorized Mayor Earl Johnson to acquire 69 acres to add to the 296-acre park on Sutton Road. The purchase price was not disclosed, but Johnson said the agreed-upon price is “at or below fair market value.”

Part of the property is located on both sides of the new industrial access road currently under construction from Hwy. 29 to Sutton Road. Additional acreage is adjacent to the current entrance to the industrial park.

Two weeks ago, the council entered a memorandum of understanding with SaeHaeSung in which it authorized the construction of a new 72,000 square foot facility in the park in which the company will occupy in a lease-purchase agreement. As part of that agreement, the company agreed to hire an additional 150 employees in the next two years.

Johnson said that announcement has opened several opportunities for Andalusia, including an opportunity to apply for grants to improve water and sewerage to and in the park.

“We’re talking about $3 million project, and most of that would be funded by grants,” he said. “More opportunities along those lines will come our way as a result of this.”

An official groundbreaking for the SaeHaeSung facility is planned this Friday. Already, crews have completed most of the site prep work.

The council met briefly in a closed session to discuss the purchase of the additional property. The purchase price of property is among the few topics state law allows city governments to discuss behind closed doors.

Johnson said the purchase contract currently in place will be executed within 90 days, provided the title search and other legal issues are handled in that time.

In other business, the council:

agreed to accept a grant of up to $50,000 from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to repair a severe erosion problem at the intersection of Third Street and Sixth Avenue. The city will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost.

authorized the temporary financing of SaeHaeSung construction. The project will be financed long term with industrial development bonds.

authorized the refinancing of the Barrow’s building through Superior Bank and just under 6 percent interest.

agreed to re-roof the gym at Johnson Park at a cost of $23,882.

agreed to lease the 2,000 square foot building formerly used by Andalusia Manufacturing for $200 per month. It will be used for the storage of Christmas decorations and some equipment.