The Rialto Industrial Park will soon be expanded in an effort to make the remaining property more marketable to industries.

The $1.4 million purchase of 65 more acres was done through the partnership between the City of Covington, Tipton County, and the Industrial Development Board.

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“We’ve had several folks interested in the 85 acres we had out there, but it was misshapen and it wasn’t big enough,” said Covington mayor Justin Hanson. “This squares it off and, essentially, just put us back in the game.”

The acreage purchased from the Southall family cost $21,500 per acre.

The ID board chipped in $200,000, the city $560,000 and the county the remaining $637,500, Hanson said.

“The county government, ID board and the city government have all approved this, so it’s moving forward.”

Covington’s share will be funded through the gas fund, but there will be no increase to the utility’s customers.

“Industrial development in Rialto Park is one of the most important things we can continue to invest in. We have long been home to industry here for approximately 50 years and we want to continue to do everything we can to promote our industrial development.”

The property has double rail on the east side and Highway 51 on the west. Additionally, utilities have already been run, so the site would be ready for development quickly.

Unilever, Sugaright and U.S. Cold Storage are among the industries currently located at the Rialto Industrial Park, which is north of town near the county line.

The newly-expanded parcel is to the east and south of Unilever.

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