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County tables abatements for Shaw deal for July Babe Ruth tournament

The Covington County Commission on Tuesday tabled a request for tax abatements related to Shaw Industries’ ongoing equipment upgrade.

Commissioners said they needed “to be clear with what they are signing up for,” and make sure they do everything the right way for the company. The issue is tabled until for the next regular meeting on Tuesday, April 10.

Rick Clifton, executive director of Covington County Economic Development Commission, and local Shaw plant manager Ron Fantroy, spoke about the abatement at Tuesday’s meeting.

Shaw Industries plans to spend approximately $250 million to upgrade equipment at its Andalusia facility.

Fantroy said that, thanks to the local workforce, they were able to compete with other facilities in receiving this upgrade.

The investment does not mean more jobs, Fantroy said.

“This project will not involve additional employment,” Fantroy said. “But it will bring in new innovative automatic technology that will make the job be less stressful on our current workers.”

The commission has already approved an abatement for the first $184 million of the upgrade, but Shaw decided to spend more.

The City of Andalusia approved the additional abatement last week.

Shaw officials said in December the project includes construction of new and expanded building assets, and installation of substantial amounts of new manufacturing equipment. The new equipment is expected to be set and operational by mid-2018.

The company is based in Dalton, Ga.

Shaw employs approximately 1,000 associates at Plant 65, which creates fiber used to manufacture carpet.

The commission also:

  • Considered a contract with Zuercher to provide and maintain a server and software for the sheriff’s department.
  • Approved policy changes to the Community Development Block Grant.
  • Approved a GPS Fleet monitoring system to be put on all county vehicles.
  • Approved allocating $9,000 from the commission contingency fund to redo the administration building’s carpet.