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JSU's Bill Fielding Thinks Mill Project Good Idea

By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau

August 13, 2004 -- When Jacksonville City Council, the public and the candidates for the next election gathered to discuss economic impact of a proposed project to transform the Union Yarn Mill property, it was Jacksonville State University's Bill Fielding they listened to, according to a recent article in the Anniston Star.

Dr. Fielding is professor of economics and dean of the College of Commerce and Business Administration. The project seems viable to Dr. Fielding.

Jacksonville has already purchased one of the buildings for $350,000. The city is in talks with Sloss Real Estate of Birmingham to sell their portion of the mill and lease the buildings when finished for 30 years, at which time they would regain ownership.

The lease would cost the city, long-term, about $12.7 million but the proposed new city hall, apartment dwellings and retail center would generate $20.7 million.

Fielding's study used estimates from the proposed deal and said Sloss Real Estate had access to government tax credits that could make the project less risky.

Mayor Jerry Smith said Dr. Fielding's study would help the city council make a decision. The next meeting of the City Council will be Aug. 23.

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