The City of Good Hope's first manufacturing plant officially broke ground Wednesday morning, and a group of local officials gathered at AGCOR Steel's future home to celebrate the occasion.
AGCOR, a manufacturer and retailer of metal siding and metal trusses currently located in Vinemont, is making the move to Good Hope to a new 128,000 square-foot facility that will allow the company to retain its 26 current jobs in the area while adding 20-25 additional jobs over the next two years.
Keeping the company in Cullman County took a partnership between local municipalities, as the City of Good Hope, City of Cullman and the Cullman County Commission combined to offer a $400,000 tax rebate from their half-cent sales taxes to AGCOR to purchase the 53-acre tract of land.
All three entities signed off on the agreement earlier this year, marking the first time that they had worked together on a project like this.
AGCOR President Zac Smith spoke about the agreement between the municipalities and presented a few financial figures that showed the impact that his company has on the area.
He said so far in 2018, AGCOR has brought in $158,000 in local sales tax, and more than $800,000 in the four years that the company has been open, along with $5.3 million in local economic impact and a statewide economic impact of $33 million this year.
"Those are the things that you can create, from an infrastructure standpoint, when local municipalities work together," Smith said. "I can't tell you enough how appreciative we are, as a company, that we have a local municipality and a group of individuals that worked together every day to put this thing together for us."
Good Hope Mayor Jerry Bartlett spoke about the years-long process to put together the package that kept AGCOR in the area, and the first-time cooperation among Good Hope, Cullman and Cullman County can be an example for future efforts to bring in or retail local industry.
"This is a good example of how working together we can make great things happen here in Cullman County," he said. "We're so proud that it did happen this time, and hopefully it's a sign of things to come."
Good Hope, Cullman and Cullman County worked together for the project, and the state government also contributed to the effort to keep AGCOR in the area.
The company could not begin construction until a sewer extension was built to the new site, and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs provided a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant to extend the sewer line and build a new pump station.
ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell attended the groundbreaking, and said he appreciates the continued cooperation between municipalities and organizations within the county, because the state government likes to see local governments working towards a common goal.
"You have a delegation here in Cullman County that pulls together, and y'all work together as a team," he said. "And to see what is transpiring is very refreshing from the standpoint of the state."