The council had approved a resolution at its meeting Monday offering to abate one-half of the sales tax for the restaurant for roughly 15 months (through next year), as well as a waiver of one-half the city’s business license fee. However, according to Mayor William Isley, the resolution will have to be re-examined, because of the necessity of a public hearing and proper advertisement. Isley said the process should be finalized “by mid-October.”
“There’s not much to it (the incentives) really,” Isley said. “We felt like we should be able to offer something.”
Big Bolton’s — owned by Mike Bolton, a retired sportswriter for the Birmingham News — has been operating on U.S. 11 in Argo for a little over a year. The restaurant is still on track to open in its new location — the former Biskit’s Place, off Interstate 59 on Purple Heart Boulevard — on Oct. 1.
Argo Mayor Paul Jennings, whose city has been struggling financially since he took office in 2008, said he was “disappointed” in Springville for encouraging the move. Jennings said Isley had offered Springville’s support at an earlier occasion.
“They offer to help us while they’re trying to take what little business we have over here,” Jennings said. “I guess we’ve learned how business is done.
“That’s $800 a month out of my budget. It’s just opened my eyes about our neighbors.”
Isley said he had not heard of any ill feelings in Argo about the proposed incentives.
“I don’t think (Argo) should be upset,” he said. “We were the receivers in this. (The Boltons) came to the city and asked if we could help them out. We didn’t seek them out.”
Bolton affirmed what Isley said Tuesday.
“We were leaving Argo, no matter what happened (with the incentives),” he said. “It’s not like (Springville) enticed us away.”
The resolution came to the council at the recommendation of the Commercial Development Authority.
“Anybody who wants anything through the city has to come through us,” said Morris Taylor, chairman of the Springville CDA. “The people on the (CDA) decided what to use (in this case).”
The building that will become Big Bolton’s Barbecue is the property of Valley Investments, which also owns Homestead Hollow. Jennings noted the presence of another barbecue restaurant — the Smokin’ Grill — in the vicinity.
“They’ve got another barbecue place within 200 feet of that place,” he said. “They’ve been there 10 years and never got any incentive that I know of.
“I guess you find out who your friends are, and I guess we know who ours are now. I’m very disappointed in our neighbors in Springville.”
In other business, Springville’s council:
• Approved a resolution to surplus 12 city vehicles and list them for sale on govdeals.com.
• Approved a resolution awarding the town’s Community Development Block Program Community Enhancement Fund Streetscape Project contract to James E. Watson Sons Inc.
• Appointed Jerry Spruiell to the Planning and Zoning Board.
• Approved the minutes of the regular meeting that took place Sept. 7.
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.