Huntsville already seeing interest after GE Aviation announcement

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Phones in Huntsville have been ringing after Tuesday's big announcement from GE Aviation and Alabama leaders. A new set of factories to manufacture ceramic matrix composite materials is coming to North Alabama in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County.

"We've already fielded several calls from companies... interested in coming to Huntsville," said Harrison Diamond, Business Relations Officers for Huntsville. "Composites really are an enabling technology."

Besides more attention, Huntsville is also looking at a financial boost once these plants are up and running. They'll be in a new tax increment finance district, or TIF, to allow new property tax revenue to be used to pay for infrastructure improvements to the community.

"Industries are basically paying back the cost of their own infrastructure," said Mayor Tommy Battle.

"Not only will it assist this factory, but others that will come in the future," said city administrator John Hamilton about the TIF.

This most recent GE announcement is expected to help pay back the TIF faster than projected, freeing up those taxes sooner to be used in other ways.

"It adds more money for your school system, it adds more money for your county administration, it adds more money for your city administration," said Battle. "So it gives you more dollars to use for services back to that average citizen.

Mayor Battle says this part of Huntsville is only just starting to boom.

"We've got other industries looking right in the same area," he said of the Greenbrier area where GE Aviation is locating. "Right down the road is our certified TVA site, that's made for more advanced manufacturing."