FORT PAYNE, Ala. – The Fort Payne city council approved a proposal allowing the mayor to enter into an abatement agreement with Heil Environmental Tuesday.
Abatements are all about getting businesses into town and keeping them there, which is exactly what Fort Payne city leaders are trying to do with a company it has had a relationship with for almost half a century.
“Heil has been in Fort Payne since 1973. One of our long term companies here,” said Dekalb County Economic Development Authority executive director Jimmy Durham.
Durham told News 19 that once Heil Environmental discussed moving a year or so ago, they got to work speaking with corporate on incentives to keep it around.
“They have a $340 million economic impact on our community annually, so if we lose them, we’re losing a big part of our economy right there, plus they have 730 workers which is an even bigger impact. We’re going to do everything we can to keep them here in our community,” explained Durham.
With an abatement, the company will be spending just under $42.5 million over the next three years to anchor itself in the city by modernizing and expanding the facility.
“They’re spending $42,300,000 and the city is forgoing $430,000 so that’s a pretty good investment there by the city,” Durham added.
He said that the abatement is on any sales and property tax the company will be spending to improve its facility over the three-year-term.
Durham told News 19 that thanks to large, well-known industries like Heil Environment, Seimens Energy Inc, and The Children’s +Place, they are able to attract more businesses which grows the population, work force, and the economy.