County clears way for $17 million project with non-educational sales and use tax abatement

Published 8:49 pm Monday, August 24, 2015

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes County Commission cleared the way for about a $17 million Koch Foods of Alabama Project in Lowndes County Monday night (Aug. 24).
At the request of Rod Thomas, complex manager for Koch Foods, the commission approved a non-educational sales and use tax abatement in Lowndes County for an approximately $17 million project to add high-speed rail unloading to its mill called “Project 100.”
Thomas told the commission, “We’re excited about an opportunity here in Lowndes County. We are going to look at adding high-speed rail unloading to our feed mill that will have a one million-bushel storage that allows us to be competitive in our industry.”
Thomas said the company is currently not competitive because it has to truck corn from Talladega. He said the corn could be shipped through CSX railroad.
Thomas said the company asked for a non-educational sales and use tax abatement “and will spend in the neighborhood of $17 million to continue to represent ourselves in Lowndes County.”
He said the company plans to begin construction in September of this year to conclude in July of 2016.
David Hutchison, who works with the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission, said the abatement will be one time only for the length of the project construction period. He said when the project is placed in service to unload train cars, the sales and use tax abatement ends.
Hutchison told the commisission,”It does not affect any income that you are currently receiving.” He also said as it is a non-educational abatement, so the schools will end up getting $55,000 to $60,000 a year from property taxes when the project is placed into service.
Koch Foods of Alabama LLC in Lowndes County produces prepared feeds and feed ingredients for animals and fowls, except dogs and cats.

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