Talladega City Hall

Talladega City Hall

TALLADEGA -- The Talladega Industrial Development Board met for the first time since 2010 Thursday night.

According to Talladega City Manager Beth Cheeks, the old board had gone dormant when all of the previous members’ terms expired and several members had died.

The City Council, particularly Ward 2 Councilman Jarvis Elston, had identified replenishing the board as a priority. The nine member panel is currently full.

The board is made up of Anton Chatman, James Whitson, Richard Vincent, Kadecha Shepard, Porsche Garrett, Darian Simmons, Samuel Wiggins Jr., Jennifer White and Chad Turner. Vincent was absent Thursday, but all of the other board members were present.

Most of Thursday’s meeting consisted of a presentation by Talladega County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Calvin Miller.

The board’s purpose, Miller explained, involves working with EDA to develop places for new industries to locate in town. Developing industrial sites involves making sure appropriate transportation, including roads, railroads and air, and utilities, including Internet access, are available he said.

Miller said he has been working in economic development in Talladega County since the early 1990s, and the first project completed was the Coosa Valley Industrial Park, with the Talladega IDB.

Money for the park was donated by the Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative. That funding put in roads and speculative buildings, which were owned by the IDB, so there was no tax on construction materials or property.

“That cuts our costs and allows us to pass the savings on to the companies that want to locate there,” Miller said.

The Coosa Valley Industrial Park is home to five industries and will likely be full in the immediate future.

The reconstituted board’s first order of business should probably be finding likely locations for further speculative buildings or industrial parks, Miller said.

Miller added there were also boards in Sylacauga, Childersburg and Lincoln that have actively been involved in speculative buildings.

Also Thursday, the board:

  • Appointed White chairwoman for Thursday’s meeting only;

  • Agreed to meet on the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the council chamber at City Hall;

  • Agreed to ask representatives of other IDBs to a future meeting; and

  • Agreed to ask the city’s attorney to address a future meeting concerning the board’s legal obligations and responsibilities.