Chamber moving to Alatex HQ

Published 1:12 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Andalusia Chamber of Commerce could move to its new home on River Falls Street very early in 2012, after the city council approved an agreement with the organization Tuesday.

The agreement calls for the renovation of the former corporate headquarters of Alatex as a chamber office and welcome center to include a memorial to the thousands of textile workers who once earned a living there.

At present, the chamber’s offices are in the former home of Martha and Solon Dixon, which was donated to the city’s industrial development board for this use.

Chamber executive vice president Ashley Eiland confirmed last night that the chamber has a contract on the building and expects to close the sale in October.

Mayor Earl Johnson said the chamber will use the proceeds of that sale for refurbishing and furnishing the former Alatex building.

“This is similar to what we did with the ballet with the Church Street School property,” the mayor said.

The agreement calls for the chamber to reimburse the city for half of the expenses of the reconstruction, not to exceed $200,000.

The chamber agreed to maintain the facility, to pay its utilities, and to make space available for Alatex memorabilia.

The agreement states that the project will begin immediately and will be completed no later than Jan. 1, 2012, contingent upon the sale of the chamber’s current building.

In other business, the council:

• Accepted a bid of $37,512 from SQ Fabrication for the construction of a cross for Andalusia Memorial Cemetery. A similar structure will be built in Marshall Cemetery, and private contributions will be sought to reimburse the city’s expense, the mayor said.

• Approved nominees for the county’s board of equalization, including Virginia Brawner, Glen Walters and Bill Godwin, all of whom currently serve on the board.

• Reappointed John Taylor, David Darby, Mike Ward and Mark Murphy to the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

• Reappointed Barbara McCommons, Sue Bass Wilson and Kennith Mount to the Community Enhancement Committee.