The long-awaited rail spur for Custom Polymers in Elm Street Industrial Park in Athens, Ala., has passed the last hurdle toward construction, the Athens News-Courier reports. On August 27, the Limestone County Industrial Development Board and Athens City Council granted a railroad easement to the company and clarified a payment process utilizing company, city, county and grant funds. The company, which leases a city spec building in the park, uses recycled plastic to produce pellets used in the manufacturing of bottles, clothing, fencing and benches.
City attorney Shane Black
explained to the Industrial Development Board that the company is growing
"They are up to 55 employees,"
said Black. "They are running at 70-percent capacity and are looking to going
to 100 percent and expanding."
Black said the city
expects a further follow-up when the company purchases the 50,000-square-foot
building. He said the railway would remain under the city and officials could
decide on whether the city would retain it.
Custom Polymers received
a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant to build a rail spur to serve the
plant. Because of delays incurred by the Alabama Department of Economic and
Community Affairs, the agency, which coordinates the grant, the company missed
the timeline for building the rail spur. Athens and the Limestone County
Commission pledged local matching funds of $508,800 for the project.
Black, said under the
newly approved terms of the grant, the company would pay $302,500, followed by
the city and county matching portion, before the grant funds are expended. If
there are any remaining costs, Custom Polymers will pay for overruns.