Quincy city officials own acres of property in the industrial park and gave free land to companies willing to build and hire locals. They say one of those companies isn't living up its obligation, and it's forcing them to take action.
All-Tech Southeast has been in the industrial park for three years and only five employees. The agreement was to hire 11 employees; so far they haven't been able to do so.
Former U.S. congressional candidate Bev Kilmer and her husband own All-Tech Southeast, a state of the art welding company in Quincy's industrial park.
City officials received grant funding for infrastructure with hopes of enticing companies to build in the industrial park. In return, the companies would receive free land if they hired local residents.
City officials say Kilmer's company is not living up to its end of the bargain and now the city may have to reimburse the government.
Ann Shelter, Human Resource Director, says, "The city is responsible for $397,000 plus penalties that they will have to repay, but more importantly it limits the city's ability to apply for future grants."
Kilmer is hoping the city will work with her as they iron out their differences. She says the company will live up to their part of the agreement, but have had a host of problems, including hiring qualified employees sent to them by Workforce Plus.
Bev Kilmer says, "They have sent several folks to us. Unfortunately, several of those when we did the drug testing, they did not pass, and that's been a challenge for us."
City officials are now faced with the challenge of working to make sure All-Tech will not close the door on job opportunities for Gadsden County residents.
Kilmer is asking for an extension from the city to get a proposal in order in terms of how they'll meet the requirements of the contract. Kilmer says she's been working diligently to hire folks and have five prospects right now, and that means the city will not have to pay back that money.