New housing and commercial developments in Anniston may bring new faces and more money to the city, according to a city official.
The City Council on Tuesday plans public hearings on incentives for a 22-home housing development set for construction in the Golden Springs community, and a new nursing home facility for Noland Health Services, currently located inside Regional Medical Center.
City manager Jay Johnson said the developments are a positive sign for the Anniston economy.
“We have investment in the new nursing home, investment in the federal building, and we’re optimistic about private sector investment in the new hotel,” Johnson said. “There is economic activity happening in Anniston.”
A city resolution, if passed at the meeting, will rebate as much as $132,000 in municipal sales taxes to developers H&P Custom Builders, based in Roswell, Ga., for the housing development. Johnson said the money will help build a sewer line to serve that community. If the developers don’t build the homes or sewer line, he said, the rebate won’t apply.
He said the tax rebate is worthwhile, in light of the economic impact a population bump might have on the city. He said property and sales tax revenues will go up as new residents move in and spend their income locally. He said many of the city’s revenues are based on population, an issue the council has discussed recently in light of the 2020 U.S. census and how that study affects government funding.
“Let’s be realistic: Anniston has suffered population loss,” Johnson said. “This is an exciting opportunity.”
Anniston’s population peaked in 1960 at 33,320 residents, according to Census Bureau data. The most recent estimate from 2017 has the population at 22,097 residents, about a third less than in the city’s prime.
Attempts to reach H&P representatives by phone were unsuccessful Friday.
Johnson said he wasn’t certain whether the new Noland Health building would mean an expansion for the business or new jobs. Attempts to contact Noland representatives for comment were unsuccessful Friday.
The city will waive municipal building fees on the project totaling up to $40,000, and pay Noland up to $50,000 to use in the development. Johnson said that money will go to the construction of a street connected to the building. The road will become city property upon completion, he explained.