By Jan Murray
Less than 90 days after Ace Hardware closed its doors in Ozark due to reported lagging sales revenue, a new business has made a $1.4 million investment in the Ozark economy.
Farm Systems, Inc. of Asheville, AL plans to open its doors by Dec. 1, according to Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Executive Director Veronica Crock. The company is primarily a manufacturer of chicken houses.
Crock said the company wants to compliment the current local economy and provide things not already readily available with the addition of its retail location. The former 918 S. U.S. 231 Ace Hardware location will not only function as a warehousing location for the construction part of the company, but a retail store will front the building, stated Crock who explained Farm Systems, Inc. expects to offer a plethora of outdoor sporting equipment, including guns. She said there are also plans to have an indoor firing range for gun enthusiasts and sportsmen to utilize.
Farm Systems, Inc. has also purchased adjacent property to the current location for future expansion projects.
Initially, Crock said, the company will employ three to five people full-time with additional positions possible. That, she said, is in addition to the contractor jobs that will be created for the construction part of the company.
Overall, Crock said, the new business is an economic boost for the city of Ozark as some $2 million in sales is projected annually for the company. The city will see a boost in tax revenue upwards of $23,800 or more each year. The amount is lowered, somewhat, by the tax incentive, the city fathers approved for the company during the Oct. 17 city council meeting.
The city agreed to provide grant incentives for the retail and distribution. The economic development agreement states the grant “will promote economic and commercial development of the city; will create jobs; will increase the tax revenues in and around the city; will stimulate the local economy; will promote the location, expansion and retention of commercial enterprises in the city; will preserve and improve the aesthetic quality of commercial development, inuring to the economic health of the city; and will improve the quality of life for citizens in the city; and further, will provide a needed additional agricultural venue for poultry producers, employees and other industry representatives to visit and trade in the city…”
The limit of the grant is $82,800.