By Karen Hall
City councilmen this week approved at $300,000 PILOT program for a local company that will lead to the creation of 30 jobs in the next five years.
Heavy Metal LLC, formerly Design Conveyor Systems, is expanding, and buying a $300,000 machine. They expect to add 14 jobs in the first year, and four jobs per year in the next four years after that.
"They've done a really good job out there," Industrial Development Director Greg Lowe told Lewisburg councilmen at their regular meeting Tuesday. Lowe noted Heavy Metal LLC has doubled its workforce in the last two years.
The Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement defers taxes on the new equipment for five years, but payments are made in growing amounts based on the value of the new equipment and the local property tax rates.
In other economic development news, Lowe announced the August unemployment numbers show 350 more people have jobs. Bids are coming in for the site preparation for Imperial Foods, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation money for road repair at the I-65 Commerce Park is now available.
Lowe also told to council members the Goats Music and More Festival, which starts today, was named as Readers Digest's most interesting event in America.
"That's a pretty big deal" to be in a national publication, said Lowe. The $1,000 prize money was sent to Lowe, but he will be donating it to the Goat Fest, he said.
The magazine announcing the award is in the mail to subscribers, and will be on newsstands Oct. 16. Goat Fest has also been named one of the Top 20 events in the Southeast for the third time.
Councilmen proceeded smoothly through their agenda until a second reading of an amendment to the alcoholic beverage ordinance. The amendment reduces the distance between an establishment serving alcohol and a church from 500 feet to 50 feet, thus allowing a restaurant on the square to serve drinks. City Manager Tommy Engram and others see this as essential to attract a high-quality restaurant to the downtown area.
Once again councilman Ronald McRady voiced his opposition and voted against the amendment.
"I feel this ordinance is counterproductive to the best interests of the city of Lewisburg," McRady said. "It really concerns me that it's felt we have to have liquor on the square to promote the square."
McRady also had doubts about the contract with Megawatt Communications LLC for the city's new Web site, but city attorney Steve Broadway reassured him, and the motion to approve the contract was unanimously approved.