An economic development project in Dale County moved forward with the approval of a $25,000 incentive from the Dale County Commission.
At the meeting Aug. 11, commissioners unanimously approved the request of Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation President Veronica Crock in support of the project that will involve more than 100 jobs.
“I’m under a non-disclosure agreement so I can’t give the exact amount of jobs,” Crock told the commissioners. “But they are high wage jobs for Dale County citizens and a total investment of $75,000 in workforce training.”
Crock said the company involved is M1 Support Services, the company that provides helicopter mechanics and other avionics technicians at Fort Rucker. “The funds will be used to fill the new jobs created through the hiring of apprentices,” Crock said. “Because the company is using apprentices, the state Office of Apprenticeships is involved in the project so the $75,000 will be split between Dale County, the state and M1 Support Services.
“The project will ultimately result in increased higher wage job opportunities for Dale County citizens because M1, with 3,800 employees, is the preferred and primary employer of Ozark Aviation College graduates,” she added.
Crock also gave an update on other economic development projects to include Global Star Aerospace, which moved to the Ozark-Dale County Technology Center for Developing Industry in 2016. Since then the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility has steadily grown in employees and capacity, Crock said. “Quickly outgrowing the Technology Center, Global Star Aero moved into their new home in the 29,580 square foot speculative building located in Ozark Corporate Park in 2020 and held a ribbon cutting July 22. Global Star Aerospace is a Federal Aviation Administration Certified Repair Station specializing in phase maintenance, component overhaul services, airframe repair, custom aircraft work and aircraft modification and overhaul on rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
A groundbreaking was held at the Ozark Airport Aug. 7 for new T-hangars, Crock said. “And Snowhill Engineering recently completed an expansion at their facility in Ozark and added 13 new jobs.”
Quality Fab is expanding in Ariton, she said. “The company will add a new sandblasting facility and 22 new employees. An Industrial Access Grant was submitted Aug. 6 and we are working on other sources of funding in support of the project.”
In other business, the commission approved the purchase of 46 electronic poll books to be used starting with the Nov. 3 General Election.
The total of the cost, to include printers and routers, is $55,750. All but the $2,070 for printers and routers will be paid for by the state, said Dale County Administrator Cheryl Ganey.
Ganey said that there will be an annual reoccurring cost of maintenance of $5,750 and that will be the responsibility of the county.
“We do have Help America Vote Act money from the state for maintenance of voting machines which will apply so we are anticipating not having to pay this out of county funds for another four years,” she explained. The HAVA Election Security Funds, appropriated in 2018 and 2020, are available to states to improve the administration of elections for federal office, including enhancement of technology.
The next meeting of the Dale County Commission is Aug. 25 at the government building in Ozark. A work session begins at 10 a.m. and is followed immediately by a voting meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.