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Affordable Street Rods revving up for expansion

Staff writer

A Peabody business will get incentives from the city to help with expansion.

Rex and Annette Watson, owners Affordable Street Rods, 601 Potter Rd., asked city council members Monday to install a culvert and driveway access off Locust St., install a street light at the driveway access to the property, lease them space for two signs on Ninth St., increase police patrols after a new building is constructed on the property, and assist with barricades and street closing as necessary for special events.

“Our business has grown over the last five years and we’re at the point where we need a facility,” Watson told council members Monday.

The Watsons plan to build on property they already own between Potter Rd. and Locust St.

Affordable Street Rods sells parts for street rods. As of this time, Watson said, most of their business is at shows and events throughout the country. Sales tax ends up being paid to communities where they set up booths at shows.

“We want to become a destination,” Watson said. “Everything we sell you can buy on the Internet and probably cheaper, but we offer some things the Internet can’t. We think we’ll have a big impact.”

Watson said taxes paid locally by the business will go up exponentially.

“To me, this is something we should support,” mayor Larry Larsen said. “One of the things about economic development is, you have to hang on to what you have while you’re looking around for someone else.”

Council member Janice Woodruff agreed.

“As far as I’m concerned, they can go ahead,” Woodruff said.

Watson said he’d already applied for a building permit to add the structure to his property.

He plans to get construction started before Jan. 1. The couple plan for an open house in September.

A couple, who fell behind on payment of their water bill after the husband lost his job, appealed to the council to reconnect water service on the agreement that they pay the $250 they are behind in four monthly installments while they stay current on water bills due during that time.

City clerk Jonna Munson said her only concern is that there are other residents in similar situations and she believes the council might get a number of similar requests if they agreed to the request.

Council members discussed whether making special arrangements with residents in the past had led to a wave of such requests, and decided there had not been a lot of follow-up requests for special arrangements.

In other matters, council members:

  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters, then resumed open session and voted to offer a full-time police officer position to James Taylor at $16.25 per hour with a 50-cent-per-hour raise after 90 days;
  • Voted to buy employee insurance through a Blue Cross Blue Shield small employer plan with the city paying 75 percent of the premium and employees paying 25 percent; and
  • Discussed the need to find a second person to nominate for Marion County Community Economic Development Corporation. MCCEDC plans a stakeholder meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 27 at Historic Elgin Hotel at Marion.

Last modified Nov. 16, 2017

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