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Lowndes, Hyundai reach agreement

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

HAYNEVILLE — In addition to approving its fiscal year 2012 budget Wednesday night, the Lowndes County Commission, approved tax abatements for both Hyundai and Daehan Solutions on separate pieces of equipment, opened the way for the Family Guidance Center to lease the old library in Hayneville  and approved County Highway Department bids on tires and herbicides.

Commissioners also heard from Kelvin Lawrence seeking support from the county for local businesses.

At Monday’s session of the county commission, commissioners approved a tax abatement for $2.9 million a piece of tooling equipment to be owned by Hyundai, but used at the Daehan Solutions plant in Lowndes County to make parts for a new car model line.

It included a one-time abatement on sales and use tax and a 10-year maximum abatement on personal property tax excluding the portion of those taxes for education.

As that request was approved pending provision of serial numbers, model numbers and date of sale, which were confirmed by economic developer Gene Crum, the commission unanimously voted to both reconsider and approve the abatement.

Wednesday night, the commission also voted unanimously to approve tax abatements for Daehan for a piece of tooling equipment valued at $2,097,471 to make molding.

Commissioner Harris said the equipment had to be new and be valued in excess of $2 million to qualify for the abatement. He also said it was cross checked to make sure it was not the same equipment abated for Hyundai.

Crum confirmed that the Daehan abatements are not an extension of any previous abatement. He also said the Lowndes County Board of Education will receive tax revenues on both the Hyundai and Daehan pieces of equipment.

The commission voted unanimously to authorize county attorney Hank Sanders to draft a lease agreement for the Family Guidance Center to use the old library in Hayneville.

County Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas said the center would do necessary repairs on the structure without assistance from the county.

On the recommendation Sanders, the  lease will include requirements that the center renovate and maintain the building and do substantial work on it within a specific length of time.

On the recommendation of County Engineer David Butts, the commission approved herbicide bids from Helena  and tire bids from McKinley Tire Sales & Service.

Local businessman Lawrence said he came before the commission “just to ask the board to support local business” in “any way that y’all see fit.”

He said he would like to reopen his sand and gravel business, and asked if the county could use his operation, which would employ five people. He said his businesses employ 30 people all from Lowndes County.

Commission Chairman Charlie King Jr. said Lawrence’s point was “well taken.” He said, “We understand the needs and necessities of keeping tax dollars floating around here in Lowndes County as much as we possibly can.”
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