Measure won’t impact county

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2004

In the columns of legalese announcing proposed amendments to be voted on in November, readers of Tuesday’s Demopolis Times may have noticed Proposed Amendment SB321 mentions Marengo County.

The proposed amendment gives “certain governmental entities” within the noted counties the authority to “have certain powers for the promotion of economic and industrial development.”

In regular English, it gives cities and counties the right to sell, lease or acquire land for the purpose of industrial and economic development.

However, Jay Shows, executive secretary of the Demopolis Industrial Development Board, said the city already has that right.

“Probably in the late ’70s an amendment was passed in the state of Alabama that gave cities and counties the right to establish Industrial Development Boards, and gave the board the right to acquire land for that use,” Shows said. “The wording of this amendment is almost exactly the same wording used in that earlier amendment.”

So why amendment SB321?

“The best I can guess is that this new amendment is for those cities and counties that do not have an industrial development board,” Shows said.

While Marengo County does not have an Industrial Development Board, the cities of Demopolis and Linden do.

City attorney Rick Manley said Marengo County was more than likely added to the proposed amendment as an afterthought.

“What happens is someone introduces an amendment for consideration for their county. Then when it comes to the floor, he asks if anyone else wants to be included in this amendment, and that’s when other areas are included,” Manley said.

Manley and Shows said this amendment will not affect Demopolis because the Industrial Development Board already handles land transactions that are used for industrial and economic development purposes.