Commission approves abatements, discusses opioid settlement

Published 8:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2024

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The Chambers County Commission discussed tax abatements, legal settlements and road crossings at its Monday meeting. 

Ansley Emfinger of the Chambers County Development Authority asked the Commission to approve two tax abatements for AJIN USA. The first abatement would be for new assembly equipment for the company’s facility. The equipment will be used to assemble a new KIA model. 

The project is expected to have a $62.9 million capital investment by AJIN USA and create 20 new jobs. The average amount of property taxes that would be abated over the three-year proposal would be $95,963.67 and the amount of sales taxes to be paid is expected to be $327,280.

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Tax abatements do not take funds from the education or road and bridge portions of the property tax.

The second abatement would be for a new warehouse and assembly factory, which would be a roughly $24.3 million capital investment and an additional 20 jobs. This is a 10-year abatement. The property taxes expected to be paid on average, for the 10 years would be $101,350 and the sales tax is expected to be $242,000. 

The commission approved both abatements. 

The meeting moved on to another resolution proposed by County Attorney Skip McCoy. McCoy asked the county to join a class-action lawsuit for an opioid settlement case against Kroger. The county has joined, and won, several of these multi-jurisdiction suits for compensation against big drug companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. The Commission voted to approve the resolution and join the lawsuit. 

Randy Talley used his time during the public comment portion of the meeting to discuss utility wires and roadway crossings.

Talley complained about three of the “unsightly” utility poles on Alabama Ave E and 1st Street. He asked the commission to investigate if one or more of the poles or wires would be removed if not in use. The citizen also argued that something be done about a pedestrian crossing on 1st street that is not clearly marked. Talley made the same request at the LaFayette city council meeting later that night. 

“I’m asking the commissioners to communicate with the city because it’s the city’s responsibility to install some [crosswalks] for different sites,” Talley said.