Governor Ivey Touts Megasite in Etowah County

Governor Ivey Touts Megasite in Etowah County

Gov. Kay Ivey's appearance at Etowah County's Little Canoe Creek megasite resembled several of her outings over the last few months.

Ivey spoke today under a tent not far from passing cars on Interstate 59 near Gadsden, as about 70 people gathered. But instead of an announcement for a new or expanding Alabama business, Ivey came to call attention to a site seeking development.

"It's important to keep working hard and to prepare so that we'll have continued success like we've had with employment and wages in the future," Ivey said. "We are signalling to every company that's looking for a home that they can grow and expand, we've got a site right here in Etowah County."

Etowah County officials in April secured AdvantageSite status for the 1,100-acre tract of land from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Members of the Etowah County Commission say they hope to add another 230 acres to it in hopes of attracting an industrial tenant.

The site has rail access to Norfolk Southern, gas lines, fiber optic access and is tied to transmission lines. As Etowah County Commission Chairman Tim Choate said, the commission began buying the land at the site back in 2008 in hopes of attracting a large scale industry.

The push had its roots in the 2000 closing of Gadsden's Gulf States Steel plant, which employed 1,800 people.

The AdvantageSite designation, Choate said, is key to getting more information out about the land to interested companies.

"At the push of a button, we went worldwide," he said.

Ivey said the site's position in the state could make it attractive for several different projects, such as automotive suppliers or the aerospace industry. She said she plans to "talk it up" at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK. Last year, Ivey attended the Paris Air Show along with a delegation from the state. The air show is one of the most important aerospace industry trade events.

Source: "Kay Ivey comes to Etowah County to tout megasite" (June 26, 2018) William Thornton