MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
There is a strong likelihood had Greenville, Prattville and Elmore County not agreed to pony up nearly $1 million to help lure Hyundai Heavy Industries to Montgomery, Governor Bob Riley would not have been able to say this Friday morning.
"It is my honor to announce that Hyundai Heavy Industries is locating its first American plant in Montgomery, Alabama,' Mr. Riley said before the signing ceremony at the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce.
Greenville has pledged more than $300,000 over three years. Mayor Dexter McClendon makes no apologies, no regrets knowing there's a chance the city won't get any direct or indirect benefits from the new company.
Hyundai Heavy Industries will produce huge electrical transformers in its $90 million plant in the South Montgomery County Industrial Park off Interstate 65 South.
"I may get a tier one supplier, I may not. Who knows. But I can tell you anytime I am given an opportunity to give one I'm going to do it. I can make another trip to Korea and see what we can do," said Mayor McClendon.
50 miles to the north in Prattville mayor Jim Byard echoes the same thoughts and is prepared to answer any questions Prattvillians may have. Mayor Byard signed off in giving $200,000 over 3 years, a decision Mr. Byard says was well thought out.
For example, around 400 people from Prattville work at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing plant. Their paychecks come back home and Byard is betting on that kind of return from future Prattville employees at Hyundai Heavy Industries, employees who spend money on a new home and at local restaurants.
"We see this as job creation," said Mayor Byard.
Another part of the deal; Hyundai Heavy Industries has agreed to hold job fairs in Prattville, Greenville and Elmore County when it begins hiring in the second quarter of 2011.
The South Korean company says it intends to pay an average of $18 an hour.
Elmore County by the way promised $250,000 spread over 3 years.
If you're wondering how the money being pledged by those governments will be spent, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says most of it will be used to prepare the construction site for the Hyundai Heavy Industries plant.
Groundbreaking is set for next month.