Commissioners Play Santa, Approve Incentives for 4 Developments

Commissioner Steve Ammons (Source: Jefferson County)

The Jefferson County Commission continued celebrating a summertime yuletide Thursday as it adopted resolutions that usher in development to the county.

After commissioners sent four development items to the agenda, Commissioner Joe Knight said the experience was “Christmas in August.”

But Commission President Jimmie Stephens made it clear the agreements that were consummated today were not gifts to the respective operations. Jefferson County was making an investment. Development chairman Steve Ammons echoed Stephens.

“This is an investment, an investment from the county in you. We expect a return on that investment,” the commissioner said. “So why are you still sitting here? Go to work.”

Knight compared today’s actions with darker days when he began his tenure on the commission with a declaration of bankruptcy.

“Having been here for three terms now and seeing where we were when we got here, this is very exciting to see what you guys are bringing forth now,” Knight said. “Thank you very much. It’s very invigorating that we keep moving in this direction.”

Stephens reminded the developers that the commission’s job is to create an environment for them to be successful.

“We’ve done that. We will continue to do that and stay out of the newspaper,” he said. “You make the headlines. OK? God bless you.”

The development incentive packages approved today are as follows:

  • The county entered a project development agreement with Kratos to provide economic incentives and monetary incentives of up to $750,000 contingent on Kratos’ meeting expected employment goals at the project site. The company has announced plans to acquire and equip a facility where it will operate an advanced materials testing, research and engineering facility at 757 Tom Martin Drive in Birmingham. The Project will involve an anticipated investment from Kratos of $26.6 million and is expected to result in the creation of 76 jobs at an average annual salary of $92,000.
  • The county entered a project development agreement with Liberty Park Venture to provide economic incentives toward their plans to develop approximately 865 acres in the Liberty Park area of Vestavia Hills to build hotel, retail, commercial and residential spaces. The incentive will be paid in two installments — $1.5 million within 30 days of Oct. 1 of this year and next year.
  • The county established an agreement with Southern Research to provide economic incentives not to exceed $7.5 million to be provided in installments of $2.5 million annually over three years. Southern Research intends to expand its facilities with the construction of a new flagship building, a genomic diagnostic facility and renovations of its 70- year-old campus. The proposed project is expected to provide for the recruitment and hiring of approximately 125 new well-paying research-related jobs.
  • The county entered a project development agreement with Pack Health to provide a capital investment of up to $67,100 contingent on Pack Health meeting employment goals. Pack Health has announced plans to acquire and expand a facility where it will provide health coaching at 110 12th Street North in Birmingham. The project will involve a capital investment of approximately $5,663,550 by Pack Health.