Joel Watson

Attorney Joel Watson speaks at the Wetumpka City Council meeting Monday.

The Wetumpka City Council unanimously authorized Mayor Jerry Willis to execute project development agreements with ALDI on Monday night.

The council voted 4-0 to approve a project development agreement promoting economic development and a limited obligation certificate of indebtedness connected to the project.

Before voting, the council held a public hearing about the agreements which lets ALDI, a grocery and general merchandise chain, and an unannounced restaurant development space get half the city’s sales tax revenue from the businesses.

ALDI attorney Joel Watson asked the council to split the sales tax to help defray the cost of building the new projects, pointing out the city would still gain half the newly generated sales taxes.

“ALDI is up front paying all of its cost,” Watson said. “All ALDI is asking the council to consider is giving half of the sales tax that ALDI would create.”

The limited obligation agreement will remain in effect until ALDI and the restaurant space are repaid $1 million but no longer than 10 years. Willis said he thinks the obligation certificate will last six or seven years of payback.

“If for whatever reason ALDI were not able to generate a sales tax, although it’s absolutely their intent to do so, the city would not owe them anything,” Watson said.

In other action, the Wetumpka City Council:

• Heard a first reading of a request from Main Street Wetumpka for utility assistance such as lighting for the alleyway.

• Heard a first reading of a request to purchase an Exmart 60-inch mower for the MLK, soccer and football fields at a cost of $8,700.

Councilmember Kevin Robbins was not at Monday’s meeting.