Etowah County officially has enough land at Little Canoe Creek to have it designated as a megasite.
The commission voted 4-0 Tuesday to purchase the tract of about 160 acres referred to as the Little Property. Commissioners Lewis Fuller and Larry Payne were unable to attend.
Discussion about making an offer on the site took place about a year ago in an executive session, but the property only now became available. Tuesday’s action authorizes the commission president, Fuller, to sign off on the contracts to buy the land.
Chief Financial Officer Kevin Dollar said late Tuesday the transaction is still in the closing process, so a final figure was not released.
The megasite is adjacent to Interstate 59, with access to U.S. Highway 11 as well as Norfolk Southern Railway. It is one of only seven industrial development sites in Alabama with railroad access, information from the county website states.
The commission in 2008 voted to purchase the first piece of land — about a 200-acre tract — and gradually increased the acreage to the current size, making it the largest site of its type in Northeast Alabama.
A megasite industrial development requires at least 1,000 acres and requires a vetting process to qualify for state assistance.
In January, David Parker, vice president of marketing and business development with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, told the commission it has “priority goals” for 2016. In addition to buying the land, those include performing geotechnical and environmental tests and doing studies to determine the cost for several aspects of the project.