During Monday's meeting of the Clay County Council, representatives from Process Development and Fabrication (PDF), Inc., Brazil, submitted a personal property tax abatement application for a new piece of equipment.
The new piece of equipment is a 133,000-pound press which has the capability of 600 tons of force with a 20-foot bed.
PDF representatives said the company would be able to maintain its current number of employees, with the possibility of hiring more in the future depending on the amount of additional business they attract.
"The new press is creating a renewed interest and may provide additional business from existing customers," PDF Owner Ken Maurer said. "The press itself is bigger than most of the ones in the state."
Attorney Lou Britton, who assisted in completing the abatement application said the Clay County Redevelopment Commission gave a positive recommendation for approval, and PDF is on board with the terms of the Abatement Calculation Agreement (clawback), as well as a percentage of the abated taxes going to the redevelopment commission.
The council approved the first reading of the abatement, with a preliminary decision of a 10-year term. The abatement will be up for final review following a public hearing during the July meeting.
Meanwhile, the council briefly discussed the possibility of moving its annual budget hearings to Sept. 1-3, which is a week earlier than initially scheduled.
"The Department of Local Government Finance is pressing all counties to have all the budgets reviewed and passed by Sept. 20," Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh said. "Because of this, we may want to consider moving budget hearings up a little bit to allow extra time for the publication and review process."
The council agreed it may be a good idea to have budget hearings earlier, but did not make a final decision to allow council members to see if they could adjust their work schedules so they all could attend.
In other business during Monday's meeting, the council --
* Approved an amended salary ordinance for a new full-time maintenance employee for the Clay County Justice Center, set at $24,000 annually. To allow for the compensation of the employee through the end of the year the council also approved additional appropriations of $13,846 in the courthouse budget and a total of $4,317 in the commissioners' budget for PERF, FICA and health insurance, and
* Approved additional appropriations of $27,363 in the Cumulative Bridge Fund for work on the Harris-McGregor Levee, which was damaged in the June 6, 2008 flood, of which it will be reimbursed to the county, and a total of $9,000 in the Surveyor Cornerstone budget for labor and equipment upgrades, and
* Approved total additional appropriations of $21,000 between the Drug Forfeiture and Federal Equitable Sharing funds which will go toward the purchase of a new Clay County Sheriff's Department vehicle. CCSD Chief Deputy Rob Gambill said all of the funding has come from drug bust seizures and no taxpayer dollars will be included in the purchase.
The next meeting of the Clay County Council will be 6 p.m., Monday, July 6, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.