The Athens City Council members returned to the topic of Athens Economic Development Corporation incentives for HVAC Manufacturing on Monday and voted approval of the plan.
The vote came following an executive session and comments from Mayor Monte Montgomery and Councilman Ed McCain.
Montgomery said the council was opposed to the package when it was discussed in executive session in May. He said some were concerned about comments made after the council did not make a motion on the topic when they returned from executive session.
At the next council meeting, during comments from the public, two representatives of HVAC manufacturing said they were not pleased that the council, did not address the company's request for assistance that had been approved by the AEDC board.
CEO John Karamanos said the help sought from AEDC was a “temporary Band Aid” to get through the next six to 12 month.
"I explained to John that when the council is unanimous, there is no one to make a motion," Montgomery said. "If you are for the issue, you make the motion. If there are two for it, you second the motion. In this case, with council member Smith abstaining, no one was for the motion."
McCain said he was not pleased with the response the council got when it did not grant the incentives at the previous meeting.
"I think it's a completely foreign concept to me to say it's a slap in the face to not get subsidies from taxpayers," McCain said. "it's a mindset I can't wrap my head around.
On Monday, by a vote of 2-1, with Robert Gross opposed and, the council approved a loan of $324,800, with a five-year note at 4.5 percent interest.
McCain made the motion to approve the loan, with Montgomery providing the second.
Council also approved a $130,000 loan for equipment purchases out of a restricted, low interest loan account. The rate on that loan is 5.5 percent.
Aaron Smith abstained on all three HVAC votes.
Also approved, was creation incentive up to maximum of $45,000 to create 30 jobs over a two year period. The funds would be credited against the principal of the building interest loan at the end of each year, based on the number of jobs created.
HVAC, on West Corsicana Street, relocated to Athens about three years and has expanded since that time.
• adoption of a 2019 water conservation plan, requiring staff to implement the plan and for it to be updated every five years
• a resolution authorizing Borstad to establish a separate fund for Cain Center operations and establish a new depository account with the city's current depository institution;
• a resolution authorizing Borstad to establish a separate fund for sanitation operations and establish a new depository account with the city's current depository institution;
• a resolution authorizing Borstad to establish a separate fund for municipal court operations and establish a new depository account with the city's current depository institution;