Huntsville gives Remington more time to hit employment target

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  Gun maker Remington's deal with the city of Huntsville was in the crosshairs at Thursday's meeting. Huntsville and Madison County governments made a $12.5 million investment to bring Remington firearms to north Alabama several years ago.

This week, city leaders agreed to give Remington more time to reach its goal of employing nearly 2,000 workers.

"The investment stays the same, they've actually exceeded what was in the development agreement," Huntsville's director of urban economic development Shane Davis said.

Nine months after Remington started the bankruptcy process to save 700 million dollars, Huntsville city leaders say they're by no means ready to kill the deal.

"It set them back a little bit, but it was probably a good move because we've got some good management in there now," Mayor Tommy Battle said.

"They promised 1,868 jobs committed at the same hourly wages, that was committed in 2014," Davis said.

At Thursday's meeting, city leaders approved giving the company until 2022 to meet its goals. As of last year, Remington employed around 500 people in Huntsville. Thursday's unanimous approval gives Remington four more years to hire over a thousand workers.

"The protections that the mayor and the city council put in place to protect the taxpayer with this project are 100 percent in place, none of those have changed since 2014," Davis said.

"If they don't provide for the community what they promised they would, then they don't get the building and they owe us $12 million at the very end," Mayor Battle said.

The city has a few caveats to the approval. At no point can Remington fall below 500 workers and must be fully staffed at 1,868 workers in four years or the city keeps the property.

City leaders tell us there are no benchmark goals for Remington, meaning the city is more concerned with the gunmaker's workforce than they are with how many guns the company produces in a year.