Guntersville City Council Approves New Publix Grocery Store

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)– Monday night the Guntersville City Council approved a tax incentive plan that will bring a new 46,000 square foot Publix to town.

“This is a very exciting thing for the city of Guntersville,” said Mayor Leigh Dollar.  “It’s the largest project in history on the peninsula.”

The $8 million project is expected to create around 130 jobs.  Developers say other Publix stores of this size generate approximately $23 million per year in revenue.

The tax incentive agreed to by the city will give Publix $1.2 million in sales tax rebates.  The money allocated from sales tax that goes to schools will not be included in that amount.   The agreement also stipulates that any decrease in sales tax revenue from the city’s two other grocery stores, Foodland and Piggly Wiggly, will be taken out of that deal.  Publix will have to make up the difference in loss of sales tax revenue.

Some who spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting were not pleased.

“It’s not fair, it’s not equitable and it’s un-American,” said Guntersville resident Dean Johnson.  ” I don’t care if they’ve done it in other towns.  We are supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

But most of those in attendance seemed to be happy with the plan and it was given a large round of applause when the council approved it unanimously.

The store will be built at the intersection of Highways 431 and 79 where a motel now sits.   Construction is expected to begin in late December with a target of opening in November of 2014.

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