/Distillery a step forward for Troy

Distillery a step forward for Troy

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Pradyot Sharma

Staff Writer

Supporting local businesses is an investment for both residents and visitors in the city of Troy.

Last week, it was announced that the Conecuh Ridge Distillery will build a distillery and bottling hub in Troy. The distillery, which is the maker of Clyde May’s Whiskey, named after famous moonshiner Clyde May, will not only help bring jobs and tourism to the city but also represents a homecoming for a brand that was controversially named Alabama’s official spirit (liquor) back in 2004.

The addition of this distillery in Troy caps a positive year in terms of economic development. Earlier this year, the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University announced the establishment of the Troy University IDEA Bank that would help student entrepreneurs launch their business ideas with the help of faculty and alumni.

The distillery is expected to bring in $13.6 million in investments to the Pike County area, according to a Troy Messenger article.

This investment isn’t without cost to the taxpayers, however. According to the same report, Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said that the city will spend $1.6 million to purchase a 76-acre property for the distillery. The report also stated that there would be a $1.2 million road project, which, according to Reeves, is likely to be funded by the state.

It is not unusual for cities to provide funds for such projects or provide tax breaks to lure companies to bring in investment. This is an initial investment made with expectations that the revenue and recognition that the presence of the distillery will generate will outweigh what the government has put in.

Nevertheless, the city needs to ensure that it comes up with a solid agreement with the distillery to ensure that it is not the taxpayers funding the bulk of this project. It is only fitting that Alabama’s official spirit be made and bottled in Alabama. The company has a lot of brand value that it can gain from its presence here.

Currently, the city is providing incentives like advertisements and utilities. The city needs to ensure that this is an investment it can capitalize on in order to benefit the people of Troy.

These projects will go a long way in establishing Troy as not just a college town, but a college town with opportunities and attractions. The presence of the distillery will add to tourism, and the recognition that comes with it will help boost the presence of the University as well.