Fulton County has prospects to lease both buildings that previously housed the Tri County Shirt Factory.
County attorney Dwayne Plumlee has been directed by the Fulton County Quorum Court to prepare a lease for the smaller unit on Highway 9 North, Fulton County Judge Curren Everett announced Dec. 29.
The county has three other prospects interested in leasing the larger building on Highway 395 that has been vacant since the shirt factory closed in November 2001, the judge said.
The smaller unit, about 12,000 square feet, is being leased to Libla Telecommunications which is contracting from Centurytel phone company, Everett said. Libla has agreed to pay the county $700 a month for a one-year lease.
American Polishing Company in Salem has expressed an interest in leasing the large building with plans for expansion. The company has been in business in the area for 31 years, the judge said.
Everett gave representatives from American Polishing a tour of the building Dec. 29. The company currently employs 25 people but hopes to employ as many as 50, Everett said.
Last summer another company from Minnesota contacted the county about leasing the building. The Minnesota based manufacturing company builds hydraulic equipment for John Deere, Everett said. The company never made a commitment but has once again shown an interest in the building.
Another prospect is a small manufacturing company in Cave City. Everett said if the company leases the building it will build barbecue grills and could employ around five workers.
The judge said the county pays $6,930 a year for insurance on both buildings. The court agreed it would be in the county's best interest to lease the building and get local residents back in the work force.
When the shirt factory leased both buildings they paid $300 a month rent and paid part of the insurance, Everett said. At one time the company paid $890 a month for the lease but then the county agreed to lower the payment to $300 after the company paid for the installation of a new roof on the building.
If both buildings were leased it would save the county money on insurance and maintenance, Everett said.
JP Chris Newberry suggested offering an incentive for lower rent on the large building if the new lessee hires a certain number of employees. Everett said he would try to negotiate a deal.
In other action, the court approved appropriating $850 for a breathalyzer. Justices appropriated $100 to the collector's petty cash fund.
The Mammoth Spring Police Department and Salem Police Department have each agreed to pay the county $1,110.24 to use the Arkansas Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center computer terminals for one year, Everett said.
The judge said the cities pay that amount because it is cheaper than purchasing terminals for the departments.