At its regular meeting the Weaver City Council approved by a 4-1 vote an economic incentive for Discount Foods as the business prepares to open in downtown Weaver. The incentive, intended for remodeling purposes, will pay the company $100,000 over five years.
“This project is going to require significant investment,” said Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis on the cost of getting the building, vacated in 2005, up to code. Willis said the money would include a complete remodeling of the building’s interior and the construction of a new parking lot. The first payment for the incentive will come in October 2014.
Councilman Mike Warren opposed the incentive and said it gave Discount Foods an unfair advantage over existing businesses in the city.
“Some of the money we’re giving them comes from money we’re getting from businesses that came here without any incentive,” Warren said. “I don’t think we’re in a place where we can afford that.”
Warren added that Weaver cannot afford to give the same incentive to other potential businesses.
Willis said sitting back and hoping for business to relocate to the city represents an “old school” approach to government, and he said the Weaver council needs to be “aggressive in recruiting” new businesses for economic growth.
The council on Tuesday also approved the construction of two welcome signs at either end of the city limits on the Chief Ladiga bicycle trail.
“We’re always trying to make people more aware of Weaver,” said Councilwoman Ellen Cole. “I always thought the trail was an asset we haven’t tapped into.”
Cole said the signs would resemble a similar double-sided sign on the Alabama-Georgia line, with one side welcoming bike riders to the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia and the other welcoming riders to the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama. Weaver Building Inspector Mike Howard approved the blueprints for the sign, which will feature brick columns 2 feet off the trail and an aluminum arch with vinyl lettering. The double-sided signs will be placed at city borders between Anniston and Jacksonville, welcoming riders to all three cities. Willis said he had verbal commitments from Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart and Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith to help out with the cost of the signs, estimated at $5,000. Willis said he doesn’t anticipate any problems in working with the two cities.
In other business, the council:
• Accepted a donation from the Weaver Congregational Methodist Church for $2,000 toward park improvements.
• Approved adding Public Works equipment to a surplus list and selling the items through the website GovDeals.com.
• Announced July 20th as citywide cleanup day.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.