IDA chairman expresses concerns about “confusion” in Etowah County Industrial Recruitment

Industrial recruiting in Etowah Co.

ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The chairman of the Gadsden-Etowah County Industrial Development Authority says he’s concerned about the county commission’s efforts in industrial recruiting.

Larry Means, the mayor of Attalla, is also the chairman of the Gadsden Etowah County Industrial Development Authority.

But he says he was surprised recently when the county commission formed its own industrial development division, calling it the Etowah Economic Alliance.

The Etowah Economic Alliance has been marketing an industrial supersite just outside Attalla and just off Interstate 59. The Canoe Creek MegaSite was declared an Advantagesite by the state, making it easier to shop it to major employers such as Fortune 500 companies.

Means says when the EEC hired their own industrial development director, it made things confusing for industries looking to locate in Etowah County.

He says one company executive expressed concern his company would get in the middle of a “squabble,” and chose not to locate his company and 80 jobs in the area.

'We’re all in this together. If we do good, they do good. If they do good, we do good," Means said. “So, I don’t know what kind of thinking they could be thinking if somebody’s thinking, you know, we’ll compete with them. We can’t be in competition, and it help the whole county.”

Means says the county commission has the right to their own industrial development, but the two groups need to communicate better.

Outgoing county commissioner Jeff Overstreet is one of two Etowah County Commissioners on the Gadsden-Etowah IDA board, and says he will also be on the EEC board. He says he won’t comment until the first EEC meeting November 20.

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