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Greenville council supports $5.6M tax abatement for new business coming

ANDREW EDWARDS

The Greenville City Council passed a resolution on Monday night supporting a $5.6 million tax abatement for Peak Energy Corp.

The Butler County Commission will vote on the resolution at their Jan. 12 meeting.

Peak Energy Corp.. is company based in Colorado that does a multitude energy projects all across the United States. The company plans to bring 200,000 solar panels to Butler County over a 550-acre area. From there, Alabama Power, Power South, or other electrical companies would be able to buy the energy.

The project is partially located within the Greenville city limits, so both the city and county must OK the abatement – which would last for a 35-year period.  PEC has not given the county a property ownership map, so the specific location of the project is currently difficult to pinpoint.

The project would bring three to four jobs to the area, but will also bring economic growth to the city and county in other ways.

“This project will generate roughly 150-250 construction jobs,” said David Hutcheson, executive director for the Butler County Commission for Economic Development. “So, we’ll have a boost in the economy as workers stay in our hotels and buy food from our restaurants.”

Since the project is only bringing three to four jobs, the county has asked Peak Energy Corp. to support a revolving loan fund in the amount of $30,000 a year for 20 years.

“This is significant because that money would be put back into the community in the form of loans. We would only target businesses that employ less than 25 people. It would be harder to make an impact on a huge business such as Hyundai Steel,” Hutcheson said.

The project will also generate $4 million in funds for the Butler County School System over the 35-year period. That comes out to roughly $114,000 per school a year.

Hutcheson says he expects workers to start clearing land sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. The construction period is expected to last around 9-12 months.

“We’re really excited about the opportunities that this will bring to the area. Jobs, wages, and investments are all something that a project like this will bring to our county,” Hutcheson said.