Bessemer authorizes incentives to pave the way for 1500 to 3000 Amazon jobs.

Amazon
Amazon
On the left, Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Today, the Bessemer City Council passed a resolution agreeing to a number of incentives for the proposed Amazon fulfillment center that will bring between 1500 to 3000 jobs to Jefferson County.

The highly sought after development will be located on U.S. Steel property off Powder Plant Road near Bessemer High School and Alabama Splash Adventure. The Birmingham region is currently the largest metro area in the nation without an Amazon fulfillment center.

Watch the historic vote by the City Council of Bessemer in favor of incentives to bring Amazon to the city.

Historic day for Bessemer

“This is a cooperative effort between a lot of different entities,” said Mayor Kenneth Gulley of Bessemer.

“I want to thank the state of Alabama, Jefferson County, Alabama Power for stepping up, U.S. Steel and Brandley Arant. It (Amazon) has been the best unkept secret in the state of Alabama for the last six months.

It is huge game-changer for the city of Bessemer or for any city in the state of Alabama,” Gulley added.

Incentive agreements

In the resolution, Bessemer agreed to reimburse Amazon for a portion of its capital investment by making quarterly payments over 10 years based on the number of full-time employees. The city would limit all permit fees to $200,000 and Amazon’s annual business license would be capped at $5,000. The Council agreed to enter into an agreement with the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority to construct and operate an additional transit stop and provide recruitment, screening and training services to Amazon.

Last week, the Jefferson County Commission at their bi-monthly meeting, authorized the County to fund $3,300,000 in roadway improvements and/or capital investments. The agreement states that it will help develop the construction of a 133 acre, 855,000 square-foot fulfillment center.

Working together

“We are all working together and that is what it is all about, because we all represent the same citizens,” stated Jefferson County Commissioner Sanda Little Brown. “I love Bessemer. Jefferson County (Commission) has never experienced this kind of workmanship on the  city, state and county level. We must work together, because there is more to come.”

Brown concluded her public comments saying, “I’m going to change the word marvel (Bessemer’s nickname is the Marvel City) to marvelous. Because that is what we have here.”

Bessemer City Seal. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Along with the Jefferson County and Bessemer incentives, the state of Alabama and Alabama Power have reportedly  added incentives. The city hopes to break ground on the project in late June or early July and should be completed in June 2019, according to the mayor.

The new development is one the largest of its kind in western Jefferson County in recent memory.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.