Huntsville council paves the way for Polaris with vote

Huntsville council paves the way for Polaris with vote

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The Huntsville City Council unanimously voted in approval for an incentive package for recreational vehicle manufacturer Polaris.

The all-terrain vehicle manufacturer plans to build a

in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County.

A 450-acre piece of land off of I-565 just west of Greenbrier Road has been pegged for the company.

The multi-million dollar incentive package includes free land for the company and tax breaks for the next decade.

As part of the deal, Huntsville has also agreed to speed up construction on a new limited-access road that will improve access to the Polaris site.

Polaris had record sales in 2013 of $3.8 billion and had an average growth rate of 14 percent a year.

The company is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016. The Ranger, Race, and Razr will be produced in Huntsville.

The City of Huntsville has committed a total of $14.5 million to create an incentive for the company. This incentive was created to provide the project site under a Performance Mortgage Scenario.

Polaris must meet full-time employment levels along with a minimum hourly wage commitment, or all the deals go away, including the free land.

Huntsville's return investment will be 2,000 jobs, and will also bring additional job recruitment along with new residential and commercial developments.

Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle said one of the reasons Polaris chose Huntsville is because of our good reputation, and that's why the city is taking a leap of faith with them.

"They are a well known company, have a great reputation," Battle said. "We don't think we will ever have any problems. But it is a business transaction and you have to protect yourself. We are protecting the taxpayers and they are making sure we will live up to what we told them we would."

The mayor added that the project is attracting other manufacturers to the area - in fact, he said more than 40 companies are looking at Huntsville right now.

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