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Commission looks to move forward on Norfolk-Southern rail spur project

The Franklin County Commission authorized Chairman Barry Moore to sign two contracts relating to the construction of a Norfolk-Southern rail spur to access the new Mar-Jac hatchery expected to be constructed in the Phil Campbell Industrial Park.

Moore's signature is conditioned on the contracts being modified and approved by Franklin County Attorney Roger Bedford, Jr., and Franklin County Engineer David Palmer.

Mar-Jac previously announced plans to construct a feed mill in Spruce Pine and the company has added plans to construct a new hatchery in the Phil Campbell Industrial Park, according to sources familiar with the situation.

While Franklin County will not be responsible for the cost of installing the rail spur, Bedford said he wanted to meet with Norfolk-Southern attorneys to discuss language in the proposed agreement.

It's probably the most one-sided contract I've ever seen,” Bedford said. “There are a couple areas where we need clarification what Franklin County's obligations are. I think it's worth the chance to talk to them to see if we can get them to clarify our responsibilities and Mar-Jac's responsibilities.”

In other action, the commission:

--approved the purchase of a front loader truck for the Franklin County Solid Waste Department.

--accepted the resignation of April Chandler Mitchell and the termination of Scott Thomas from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. The commission approved advertising for four corrections officers and approved the temporary hiring of Amanda Smith as corrections officer, and the hiring of full-time deputies Orlando Gates and Chase White.

--tabled action on a proposed contract with Colonial Life Insurance to provide term-life insurance for county employees.

--approved the hiring of Taylor Chase Nethery as Information Technology Director for Franklin County. Nethery will replace the retiring Frank Hoehn, who will step down December 1, 2016.

--approved revisions in the tax abatement agreement for Mar-Jac relating to the proposed hatchery in the Phil Campbell Industrial Park.

--approved Friday, November 25th as a holiday for county employees after Gov. Robert Bentley declared the same for state employees.

--approved a resolution recognizing November 17th as World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

--approved a resolution supporting proposed amendments on the November 8th general election ballot including Amendments 3, 4 and 14.

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