Council discusses retail development incentives, city improvements

By Nathan Howell / Staff Writer


COLUMBIANA — The Columbiana City Council discussed the benefits of providing tax incentives to a land holding company offering to bring new businesses to Columbiana in a meeting on April 2.

During the meeting, Mayor Stancil Handley said the group, identified as Lafayette Land Company, was interested in purchasing retail space in the Columbiana Square shopping center.

“This is big news for our town,” said Handley. “The company has letters of intent from two national retailers, and one of them has already been permitted. As soon as the deal takes place, they will be at liberty to reveal who the retailers are.”

Handley went on to say that the company wanted tax incentives from the city to move forward with the deal. He said that he wanted to negotiate a deal that would be acceptable to the council and the company but that he does not “want to give away the bank” on sales taxes.

Council members Leslie Whiting and Ouida Mayfield indicated they were open to the mayor discussing a deal with the company, however no vote could be taken on the issue as a quorum was not present for the meeting.

The council, acting as the Architectural Review Board, also discussed improvements being made by the Clements Dean Building Company on the Mildred White Wallace House, a historical landmark on Shelby County 47 within the city.

“This will probably be the nicest house in town, next to mine,” Stancil joked.

The council also discussed using funds collected from gas taxes for various paving projects.

There were two resolutions on the agenda pertaining to an increase in the city’s portion of health insurance premiums and a water pollution prevention program, however not enough council members were present to hold a vote.