The New Brockton Town Council approved a resolution giving an abatement to Ben E. Keith’s new distribution and Southeast Regional Headquarters at its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 5.
The resolution gives the company a 50 percent abatement on all abatable taxes, which includes state and local non-education property taxes and all taxes on construction transactions except local construction transaction related taxes levied for educational purposes and for capital improvement for education for 20 years.
The state and Coffee County Commission have already approved this abatement. Since a portion of the land being used by Ben E. Keith is in the incorporated limits of the Town of New Brockton, Coffee County Administrator Rod Morgan asked the council to approve an abatement mirroring the one from the county.
He said the company will be an important employer for the area.
“The initial phase will be approximately 470,000 square feet and and employ roughly 240 people (80 new jobs plus 160 retained jobs) at an average wage of $24.90 an hour with benefits,” Morgan said. “So that will be a significant employer for the county and the town.”
Morgan described where the property located in New Brockton would be and the changes being made to it.
“The property that they (Ben E. Keith) have identified and selected is between AL-84 and (Coffee) County Road 514,” Morgan said. “It’s bounded on the east by (Coffee) County Road 516. We’ll be moving the current crossover and constructing a new turn-in for that the public and employee traffic will access off of (AL-) 84. We’ll be making some improvements to 516 and vacating a portion of that road and the commercial traffic—the heavy trucks—will come out on 516.”
Morgan said the anticipated truck traffic on the road is 100 a day when the center first opens, which will scale up to 200 a day once the location is at full capacity within the next decade.
After the council approved the resolution, Morgan thanked the council and the town for all its help and cooperation during the process.
“This is a group effort that I’ve been a very small part of,” Morgan said. “There’s been a group working on this for some time so it will be good to see it come to fruition. I’m looking forward to someone checking in and drawing a paycheck—that’s when I’ll really exhale. To land a project like this in a rural area speaks to the local leadership. Again, I appreciate the town and I’ve spoken with the mayor numerous times while we worked on this and I appreciate her patience and willingness to work with us.”
New Brockton Mayor Kathy Holley thanked the county and the surrounding cities for their help.
“This has been a Coffee County effort because it’s not just us,” Holley said. “Elba was very gracious in assisting, Enterprise was also gracious enough to help us with it but most of all the county. I just think we all came together for a cause for the full county to improve it and I appreciate every minute of it.”