HEFLIN — To make potential industrial property more attractive to buyers, the Heflin Industrial Development Board is working with its attorney on a document to help the board market that property more efficiently.

Having such a document on hand would allow the city to market private property and then sell it at a predetermined price once the industrial board has an interested buyer, said Board Chairman Jerry Cash.

City Clerk Shane Smith said board attorney Patrick Casey is working on a sample document the board could take to landowners. Smith has already talked to three owners who are open to negotiating purchase agreements with the city, he said.

Cash said the agreements will make the properties more attractive to businesses interested in moving to Cleburne County.

“A business is more receptive to buying a piece of property from a government than an individual,” Cash said.

A purchase agreement cuts down on haggling, he said, and saves the businesses from having to track down and deal with multiple owners on the properties that are jointly owned.It also ensures the property’s price is at market value, Cash said. As the area develops, some property owners might see that as a reason to increase their prices, making it harder for the board to market the properties, he said.

The agreement would also benefit the property owners because the board would market the properties and would not receive a commission when the properties sell, Cash said.

The board will start approaching other property owners as soon it receives from Casey a standard sample agreement that can be applied to any given property owner.

A draft of such an agreementshould be ready for the board’s April 7 regular meeting, Smith said.

In other business, the board:

— Approved sending board members Tanya Maloney and Jay Grubbs to a training session at the Auburn Economic Development Institute in July and September.

— Discussed House Bill 57 in the Alabama State Legislature, which would increase incentives to companies settling in rural counties in the state. As written, it would lower the required number of jobs created to participate in the Made in Alabama Jobs Act from 50 to 25, Maloney said. It would also increase the incentives to hire veterans and make loans from the State Industrial Development Authority available for site development in rural counties, she said. She asked the board members to contact local legislators to ask for their support of the legislation.

Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545 or, in Heflin, 256-463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.

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