HARTSELLE — Phase 1 of the Morgan Center Business Park is less than a month away from completion, and Morgan County recruitment officials have been in talks with the park’s first potential client.
“It’s an office operation,” Morgan County Economic Development President Jeremy Nails said about the company that has requested photos of the park.
Nails could not release details about the company or predict the chances of the business coming to Morgan County. “Anytime you’re still talking, that’s a positive,” he said.
The business park on Byrd Road is in the center of Morgan County. Unlike existing industrial sites in Morgan, it will be more like a college campus and will focus on the aerospace, biotech and defense industries in Huntsville.
Construction of the multi-phase park started a little more than a year ago. The first phase, which is west of Interstate 65, is about 130 acres and designed to accommodate any size lot a company needs.
By the end of the month, Nails said, the cooperative district board will finalize contracts with Hartselle Utilities for water and sewer, and with Waters Brothers of Decatur for items such as signs and landscaping.
“This park is like nothing you have seen in Morgan County and is designed to leave a lasting impression,” Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley said. “I’ve said this all along: It may be in Hartselle, but it will serve all of Morgan County.”
County and municipal leaders started talking about the park in January 2005 because they knew the debt of Mallard Fox in Decatur would be paid in 2007.
During those meetings, elected officials agreed to continue to pledge part of their Tennessee Valley Authority in-lieu-of-tax payments to fund the project.
In September 2009, the Morgan County Industrial Park and Economic Development Cooperative District approved issuing bonds in excess of $16 million to buy property and do infrastructure improvements.
The overall plan is for the park to be on both sides of I-65.
Nails said Phase 2 is in the process of gaining “advantage site” designation from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.
He said this designation tells potential clients that the site has passed milestones such as environmental and historical studies.
“It lets them know this is not just some empty field,” Nails said.
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