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Alabama lawmakers present $3.94 million SEEDS grant to Dothan industrial development board

Last week, state legislators representing the Wiregrass region presented the Industrial Development Board of Dothan, Alabama with a $3.94 million check from the State Industrial Development Authority to assist in the acquisition of the 446-Acre Westgate Supersite.

The funds were made possible by the Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act (SEEDS) legislation passed in 2023. The state funding is paired with funding from the City of Dothan Commission and the Houston County Commission in the amount of $3.14 million to also assist with the acquisition of the Westgate Supersite.

“The state understands the critical need for large quality industrial sites and the Westgate Supersite has the potential to make a generational impact in the Wiregrass region,” State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva) told those gathered for the major economic development event.

According to state leaders, Alabama, like many other states, is encountering a symptom of economic development success: Running low on available sites for industrial development.

One component of The Game Plan legislative packaged authorized by Alabama lawmakers in 2023 enables funding to fulfill its mission of securing multibillion-dollar projects to Alabama: The Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) Act.

RELATED: $40 million in SEEDS could soon take root in Alabama, growing the state’s economic development prospects

“The Westgate Supersite has the potential to help create hundreds of high-wage jobs for hardworking Alabamians and we are fortunate to have such a quality industrial site,” State Rep. Paul Lee (R-Dothan) told the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

Lee added that prior to the SEEDS Act, the state had gaps in its ability to recruit and retain private sector partners that are capable of spurring economic development regionally. Now, locations like the Westgate Supersite are attractive to companies for its operability, access to transportation and a readymade workforce in the Wiregrass.

(Economic Development Partnership of Alabama)

“It includes Dothan Utilities, Alabama Power, Southeast Alabama Gas, as well as a railroad, CSX Railroad. We have been told by some consultants, that this may be the best site in the state and it is also for sure, south of Huntsville,” Lee said.

Two local leaders, Dothan Mayor Mark Saliba and Houston County Commission Chairman Brandon Shoupe also shared excitement for the milestone.

“The city of Dothan has never been able to compete for very large economic development projects, but now with the Westgate Supersite, our community will be able to be considered for industrial projects that have the potential to facilitate significant economic investment in our community,” Mayor Saliba said.

Chairman Shoupe added, “We are fortunate to have a strong state delegation that works hand-in-hand with city and county officials for the advancement of the community.”

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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