Stahl-Meyer, Annett Bus Lines Coming To MadisonApr 7th, 2011 | By Lynette | Category: Front Page
At the April 6 meeting of the County Commission meeting Commissioners voted unanimously to grant Mr. Guillermo Gonzalez a ten-year ad valorem tax exemption to relocate his business from New York City to Madison County.
Gonzalez, who has owned and operated Stahl-Meyer Meat Processing Plant in New York since 1936, is looking to move to an area where he can expand his operation. In the Bronx neighborhood where it is currently located, he has literally run out of room, with nowhere to go but up – not an efficient design for meat processing.
With the ad valorem exemption offsetting some of the costs of relocating, he will be closing his 60-employee plant in New York and reopening in the old Smithfield/Dixie Packers building. He made no guarantees, but he hopes to eventually expand to far more than 60 employees during the ten years the ad valorem exemption remains in effect.
In another effort to bring more jobs to Madison, the commission also voted to donate five acres of land near the Interstate exchange to Annett Bus Line, for a new 6000-8000 square foot bus terminal/operations facility. Brian Annett, who moved to Madison four years ago, addressed the commission and spoke about the need to expand in the North Florida market, choosing Madison for a rural connecting route from Tallahassee to Jacksonville.
“I think this company is a great fit for this area,” Annett told the Commission. “We’re a family owned company.”
When people used ask him why his business started out in Sebring, “in the middle of nowhere,” Annett would tell them it was because the little town was central to both the east and west coasts of Florida, as well as Miami and Orlando. In the same way, Madison is also the ideal location for a north Florida expansion of their coach lines. Rural, yes, but right where it needs to be for their company, central to Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando and Valdosta.
When asked if the new jobs would go to local people and not transfers from Sebring, Annett, who played baseball at North Florida Junior College and married the former Christie Webb of Lee, replied that he believed local people were the key. “It’s important to me to hire local people. You always hear ‘location, location, location.’ Our business is about ‘people, people, people.’ We don’t sell a product, we sell a service.”
Eddie Bell, Mayor of Lee, the town that has annexed the property in question, said the Lee Town Council had voted the previous evening to help with getting paperwork together in support of the bus line coming to Madison, if the County Commission ended up agreeing to donate the property.
Annett hopes the new facility, with eight to ten motor coaches, will be up and running “by football season, if that’s realistic.” It will provide about 15 jobs at first, but he hopes to hire more people eventually.
“We’re here to grow,” he said.