Masland promises 30 jobs if city builds road

Published 4:15 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Masland Carpets & Rugs has agreed to increase its work force by at least 30 jobs, if the city will build a road for the company in the Atmore Industrial Park.

At Monday’s meeting of the Atmore City Council, the city approved for Mobile Asphalt, LLC, to construct an extension of Byrne Drive, which runs east-to-west parallel to the railroad right of way in the industrial park. Mobile Asphalt’s bid was the lowest received, at $139,262.

Atmore City Attorney Larry Wettermark explained that Masland will be able to use the Byrne Drive extension to better access the rear of its property. By adding this access, the company will be able to move 30 of its jobs from its facility in Mobile County to Atmore.

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Wettermark told the city council that the agreement with Masland stipulates that the company must guarantee at least 30 new jobs within three years of the road’s extension. In addition, he said the company agrees to maintain those job levels for at least another three years.

Wettermark said the agreement also includes a provision, in case Masland is unable to guarantee those jobs for economic reasons or any other reason. If that is the case, then the company will pay for the road at a pro rata basis, depending on the number of jobs that were added.

“I think this is a fair agreement for both parties,” Wettermark said.

In other business, the council:

• Recognized cheerleaders and football players from Escambia Academy, which won the AISA Class AAA football championship in November.

“It was a great year; we appreciate you all recognizing these guys today,” EA coach Hugh Fountain said. “It does take a lot of time and effort.”

Atmore Mayor Jim Staff said that the community has had a lot of athletic success this year, pointing out that Escambia County High School teams had recently made the state volleyball and basketball tournaments.

Staff congratulated EA for its accomplishments, joking to Fountain, “We’re going to do it again next year, right?” “Absolutely,” Fountain said.

• Approved for Mary Carter to serve as the “designee” for the purpose of administering and collecting the city’s business license taxes. Also approved for Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) to serve as the designee for the purpose of administering and collecting the city’s delinquent business license taxes.

• Approved for Kenny Smith to join the Atmore Planning Commission. Smith is replacing Tom Wolfe, who recently resigned from the commission after retiring from West Escambia Utilities.

• Unanimously denied a business license for the Chik-A-Dee Country Club, located at 55 Carver Ave., which had been requested by Mary Frye.

Glenn Carlee, director of Atmore Public Safety, told the council that he did not recommend for Frye to receive a business license.

“Mayor, based on the past history of the operation of this club under Mrs. Frye’s supervision, and the number of calls that we responded to, I cannot make a recommendation to the city to recommend this license at this time,” he said.

Frye responded by asking the city why she could not use her building for a business purpose.

“I’m not asking to be able to do anything but to use my building — rent it out,” she said. “I’m not trying to get an alcohol license, or a club license, I just want to use my building.”

“The fact that alcohol is going to be allowed on the premises, I’m against recommending the business,” Carlee said.

At the end of the meeting, Frye asked Carlee if he had any suggestions for the type of business that she could operate in her building.

“That’s not for me to recommend,” he said.