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Upgrades benefit recruiting efforts

Last week’s announcement that a $650,000 grant had been secured for the Phil Campbell Industrial Park was big news for the county’s industrial recruiting efforts, officials said.

The money will be used to install a water system at the park, which is located on Alabama 13 and has rail access.

“From an economic development standpoint this is a big benefit,” said Mitch Mays, executive director of the Franklin County Development Authority.

State Sen. Roger Bedford and local officials met at the site last week.

The 83-arce industrial park has access to Alabama 13 and the railroad, which makes it unique, said Phil Campbell Mayor Jerry Mays.

The town has completed all the environmental studies, geo-technical analysis, and wetland, historical, and archeological reports on the industrial park and an engineered master plan has also been completed.

Mitch Mays said water and sewer infrastructure was the last element that had to be addressed at the site.

“This will allow that to be taken care of,” he said.

Industrial recruiting is a process, Mays said, and a large part of that is having sites ready for prospective industries.

“Companies today are not interested in being driven out to a big field somewhere and told what can be built there,” he said.

“They want to have infrastructure in place so that when the decision is made where to locate they are ready to go.”

When the water and sewer system is installed at the Phil Campbell park it will be a shovel ready site, officials said.

This announcement, coupled with what officials hope to make soon, could be good news for the county.

“There are some things happening that I hope will be good for Franklin County,” Mays said.

Officials are working on plans for the Vina park and the new county site in Russellville.