Friday, August 26, 2011
Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

This past week we had great news in our senate district with the addition of 200 new jobs at Roof Mart in Vernon. I want to congratulate the McNees Family on this wonderful expansion.

These are good paying jobs as this company continues to grow and expand in the use of metal for trusses, buildings and building material. I appreciate Governor Bentley coming up and being a part of the announcement along with Greg Cranfield the new Director of the Alabama Development Office. Judge Rogers, the County Commission, the Mayor and City Council as well as State and Federal agencies all had a part in helping with this expansion. I was proud to give it my full backing and support as well.

As I told Jeff Newman, Superintendent of Education of Lamar County, as we were announcing this plant expansion we don't need to raise taxes to gain more money to fund our schools, what we need to do is create more jobs. When you create more jobs people are working and can afford to buy things and pay the normal rate of taxation.

As part of keeping our commitment to Wrangler and their willingness to maintain their employment level of approximately 150 and the additional 50 jobs once the plant is rebuilt in Hackleburg, I'm pleased to announce the following two grants. The City of Hamilton has been awarded $50,000 to make energy efficient lighting upgrades to the Colby Furniture Manufacturing facility in Hamilton to allow the V.F. \ Wrangler Corporation improve the work conditions for it's employees. This is an ADECA grant from the State of Alabama that I'm proud to support and help with. Along with this grant the Town Of Hackleburg has been awarded a $200,000 State of Alabama ADECA grant to make energy efficient improvements to the old Wrangler Sewing Plant, including HVAC upgrades and repairs as well as energy-efficient lighting upgrades to allow the V.F. Corporation to maintain operations in Hackleburg.

I'm optimistic that with the rebuilding of the fine Wrangler plant in Hackleburg, the 200 new jobs created by the McNees expansion in Vernon at Roof Mart as well as many new small businesses opening up along with the jobs associated with rebuilding and repairing from the April tornados that perhaps we're starting to turn the corner here in North Alabama towards a brighter economic future. You may rest assured that I will do all that I can to bring home State and Federal dollars to help create local jobs.

This past week I had an opportunity to meet with Senator Bill Holtzclaw in Huntsville to have a press conference about how to build back more affordable and safer buildings. The insurance industry has been doing a great deal of research across America about how to have safer reinforced standards in new homes and how to retrofit existing homes. This past year we passed a new law allowing a $3000 tax deduction for retrofitting existing homes and businesses to make them safer. After the tornado's that rip through Alabama on April 27th I think all of us are made more aware of the fact that we need to build back stronger and refit existing buildings and homes so that they are safer for our families and friends. It's my hope that we'll be able to take some of the BP money and make tax free grants in the form of a specified list of building alternatives that can be applied to existing buildings or built to the standards with new buildings. Once the home and\or businesses are either reinforced or built according to standards then it would be inspected and the tax free grant given. I'd like to see a tax free grant of $ 7,500 which could also be matched with the existing $3000 tax deduction to be a meaningful encouragement to people to build more affordable and safer. Why it will cost a little more to build a home to these standards I believe you can find that with a tax free of a grant of hopefully $7500, $3000 tax deduction and cheaper insurance premiums because you have built to these standards that it will be an encouragement to build safer.

This will make us safer for generations to come. We must all learn from the lost of life and property that occurred how we can build back better. You can depend on my full backing and support for this.

It's hard to believe that high school football has kicked off a new season. I'm excited about it and I wish all our players, cheerleaders, band members, and supporting family a safe and enjoyable football season.
As always if I can ever be of any assistance to you please contact me at the following:

Alabama State House
11 S. Union Street, Suite 730
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
Phone 334-242-7862 , Fax 334-424-4736
Russellville Office
P.O. Box 370
Russellville, Alabama 35653
Phone 256-332-6966 Fax 256-332-6967