The city of Moody and St. Clair County approved a joint development agreement this week to bring a new travel center to Interstate 20.
The agreement, between Moody, the county and High Tide Oil Company, Inc., will allow the development of the travel center near Exit 147. Bill Weathington, attorney for Moody and St. Clair County, said the travel center will be a Valero branded center.
The St. Clair County Commission approved the same agreement at its meeting Tuesday in Pell City.
As part of the agreement, the city of Moody agreed to rebate the company its one-cent diesel fuel tax; St. Clair County, which has no diesel fuel tax, agreed to rebate 50 percent of the sales tax generated from the center. Per the agreement, the rebates will continue for a period of 15 years, or until the company receives $1.5 million.
Don Smith, executive director of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council, said the deal is similar to the one that brought Love’s Travel Center to Interstate 59 in Steele.
“All the risk is in the project itself,” Smith said. “If it doesn’t perform, the city loses nothing. If it overperforms, the city can fulfill all its obligations earlier than expected.”
High Tide said in the agreement that it expects to construct a 5,000-square foot facility, with $3 million in annual taxable sales, 12 million gallons of gasoline (unleaded and diesel) per year and 25-35 full-or-part-time jobs.
Site preparation has already begun, and construction is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 31, 2013.
“It will promote the local economy and commercial development in the city,” Weathington said. “It increases the city and the county tax base, and provides additional revenue for county schools, one of which is located in Moody.”
Moody Mayor Joe Lee said the diesel tax rebate will remain at 1 cent, unless the city raises the tax rate to over 3 cents.
“It’ll never go that high,” he said.