GOOD HOPE – Van’s Sporting Goods is now in good hope. City officials announced the annexation at Monday night’s council meeting.
Owners Van and Julie Allen are expanding their presence in the area with the construction of a Shell service station, and city leaders saw an opportunity to bring both companies to Good Hope. Under the proposal, if Vans agreed to allow the city to annex Vans Sporting Goods as well, the city would expand its sewers to accommodate the new business.
“We knew the west side of 65 needed a sewer, so we weighed our options for the best way to do that. As we approached them, we told them what we wanted to do, and with each subsequent meeting, we’ve gained trust and just started to build a relationship,” Mayor Jerry Bartlett told the Times.
With the two annexations, officials have procured the city’s second-highest revenue-generating company and secured a plan to expand the sewage system west.
The annexation of a 18.4-acre property adjacent to the Good Hope border, followed by the .99-acre property on which the company is located, will provide the city with an annual revenue increase of $60,000 to $70,000 through a sales tax of 0.5 cents.
Good Hope town planner Corey Harbison said that while Good Hope will see additional revenue, the Cullman County Commission will not see a relative decrease in funding.
“The annexation of Van’s Sporting Goods is not generating any revenue for the county. All monies going to the City of Good Hope come directly from the city’s sales tax,” Harbison told The Times.
This additional revenue stream will offset costs associated with expanding the sewage system beyond I-65 — which officials say is required due to future pumping stations currently under development — with minimal financial impact on taxpayers.
Bartlett said he was “tickled to death” when Van’s was added to the city’s growing business network.
“We’re a very pro-business, progressive council and I think our growth is due to that. We try to build a good reputation. I want every company we work with to think, ‘Oh man, working with Good Hope has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.’
Patrick Camp can be reached at extension 256-734-2131. 238