February 20, 2014 10:03:34 AM
VERNON, Ala. -- The City of Vernon is a lease agreement away from finalizing a deal to bring the first tenant to the city's industrial park.
Vernon Mayor Glenn Crawford announced Tuesday a pending lease agreement for K & S Lumber Company to use the land at the park and heavy-duty scale. K & S has been clearing timber and excavating land in preparation to build a sawmill that, by next spring, should create more than 20 new jobs.
Previously, Crawford had been mum on details, except for the type of operation that would be housed at the park and the timeframe for when ground would be broken to when the mill would be built.
Crawford also announced a public hearing would be held at noon Thursday to discuss and form a resolution to pursue a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, which would help fund the project. The grant can be used to fund infrastructure, such as roads to and from the park, ground clearing and leveling, and sewer work. Crawford said the grant is an 80-20 matching grant, and he expects the city to be eligible for as much as $90,000 in grant monies.
In other news:
■ Crawford and the council held a moment of silence for former city councilmen and longtime Lamar Democrat editor Howard Reeves, who died Feb. 8 at the age of 83. According to Reeves' obituary, the Lamar County native served in the U.S. Army, collected antique cars and served on the Kiwanis Club.
"I, as a business owner, had known him for the past 20 years," Crawford said. "He was always very positive, and he supported me in my campaign. He'd made every council meeting except the last one. He's been an integral part of the city, a straightforward news guy. Just an all around good man."
4. Storied locked antlers find their way home COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY