Athens to take up buying former Pilgrim's Pride site for $550K - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens to take up buying former Pilgrim's Pride site for $550K

(Source: Decatur Daily) (Source: Decatur Daily)
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

After about 90 days of "pretty intense negotiations," Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks brought to the City Council a contract to purchase the abandoned Pilgrim's Pride property for $550,000.

The proposal was introduced at the council meeting Monday night and will be considered at the next meeting in a week.

Marks said the appraisal from Pilgrim's Pride had been $800,000, and the city's appraisal that "they allowed us to do came back at $575,000. ... We settled on a price of $550,000." The site includes about 31.7 acres near Athens State University.

Pilgrims shuttered the plant in 2009, taking 650 jobs and roughly $1.7 million in annual utility revenue with it.

"No. 1, this gives us an opportunity to clean up a blighted area," said Marks, who has been negotiating with the company for about five years. "I just want to get a deed in hand, then we'll decide" what to do with the property.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has already conducted surface testing of the property, Marks said. "They didn't seem to be alarmed" by the results of the Phase 1 testing, he said. Marks said ADEM personnel are scheduled to be at the site in early August to drill six to seven wells for environmental testing, which typically costs $50,000 to $75,000.

Read more at Decatur Daily.

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