McKee Now Plans To Build 4 New Facilities In Collegedale As Part Of $500 Million Expansion

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - by Gail Perry

Last year, Collegedale along with the Hamilton County Industrial Development Board, entered into a PILOT agreement with McKee Foods that was effective Jan. 1, 2020. At the commission meeting on Tuesday night, Attorney Kurt Faires with the Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel law firm, requested approval from the city for an amendment to the agreement. He said this is the largest investment ever made in Hamilton County by a locally owned business. The investment by McKee will be one half billion - about $500 million, he said.

 

He said that since the PILOT is for a period of 15 years, it was hard to know exactly where all the money would be spent. Originally, it was for two facilities in Collegedale. That has now changed, and the company plans to spend it in four locations within the city.

 

Attorney Faires told the commissioners that everything relating to the PILOT is on target. The creation of jobs is exceeding the threshold, he said. The agreement specifies 482 jobs will be added with an average salary of $45,000. The only thing that is changing is the description that it now is for four facilities instead of the original two. There is no change to the investments or jobs.

 

The amendment to the PILOT was approved unanimously.

 

Collegedale used some of the money it received from the Cares Act, which was to be used for COVID-19 related expenses, to purchase computers so they will be available in case city hall has to close and work is needed to be done from home. At the commission meeting, City Manager Ted Rogers received approval for a policy to regulate employees working remotely. He said the standing policy is that no one works from home permanently. The policy covers temporary conditions and defines the parameters, he said. If a person is approved to work from home, they must sign the policy, which is to protect Collegedale’s equipment and information with the assurance of performing their responsibilities. The signed document will be put in their employee file. If an employee requests any additional expenditures, it would be submitted to their  supervisor for approval before any spending is done.

 

In October, the commission gave approval to Collegedale Municipal Airport Director Chris Swain for a change order needed for building a culvert under a runway. The purpose of the culvert is for  rehabilitating stormwater drainage. The project was paid for with a grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, with TDOT paying 95 percent and Collegedale being responsible for just five percent. The amount of the additional work that was needed came to $21,900 with Collegedale’s portion of the change being $1,095. Mr. Swain told the board that the city’s portion has already been paid and the project has already been completed. The additional money was authorized.

 

The airport will  also be getting a 24-hour fuel service kiosk. A grant is already in place, said Mr. Swain, and, because of the cost, the city is required to put the project out for bid. Just one bid was received for the amount of $24,500. He said this is another grant with a 95/5 percent split and the grant will pay up to $26,000. Collegedale will pay $1,300 of the split, which is included in this year’s budget.

 

Two properties in the city limits were given new zoning designations. Collegedale had previously  approved annexing the property where the new Whistle Stop Café was built. With no person in opposition at a public hearing for the rezoning, the permanent zoning of Mixed Use Town Center (MUTC) was approved.

 

Property on Lee Highway and White Oak Valley Circle, consisting of 1.7 acres, was rezoned from MUBC to AG, Agricultural on the recommendation of the Collegedale Planning Commission.

 


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