Top Headlines: Huntsville housing market heats up, Birmingham’s plan for gas tax money

Huntsville housing market heating up as jobs pour in
If you’ve been in the Huntsville area housing market this year, you know the stories. Homes sold the day the sign goes up in the front yard. Bidding wars. Bidding wars in areas locals might not expect. Some stories are hype and some are true, local real estate agents say, but inventory is low. “We’re sitting about 1,000 homes less on the market than the same time last year,” Huntsville Area Association of Realtors President Cindi Peters-Tanner says. “And we still have growth.” –

Birmingham already has a plan on how to spend new gas tax money
The city of Birmingham is making plans to spend the tax dollars they’re getting from you paying more money at the pump. Starting in September, the state’s gas tax will increase by $0.06. The gas tax will increase by $0.02 in 2020 and another $0.02 in 2021. “A primary focus of our current fiscal year budget is dealing with city services like, neighborhood revitalization, which included $8 million in roads,” city spokesman Rick Journey said. The city expects $1.5 million a year. – WBRC

Farmers in Vernon listen to newfangled plan on growing hemp
The recent farm bill passed by Congress lifted restrictions on the growing of industrial Hemp, leaving regulations up to the states. On Monday night, city leaders in Vernon, Alabama had a chance to hear from Bama Bio Tech Corp., a company that wants to make Lamar County a center for production. “Hemp is not a drug,” said Greg Lowery, Founding Director and Shareholder with Bama Bio Tech Corporation. “Hemp is actually a totally different bush than marijuana. Marijuana is where your drug is. Hemp is where we make products.” – WCBI

Colonial Pipeline sues Alabama contractor over spill
Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline Co. has sued an Alabama contractor over a spill that threatened gasoline supplies along the East Coast three years ago. The pipeline operator contends faulty work by the Birmingham-based Ceco Pipeline Services caused a crack that spilled at least 250,000 gallons of gasoline in rural Shelby County in September 2016. The pipeline carries fuel from Houston to metropolitan New York. – AP

USW local in Tuscaloosa ratifies 3-year labor contract with Michelin
Members of United Steelworkers (USW) union locals at BFGoodrich Tires plants in Tuscaloosa and Fort Wayne, Indiana have ratified a new three-year labor contract with the Michelin North American Inc. business unit. The new deal, which runs through July 30, 2022, covers about 2,500 workers at the two plants. The agreement includes annual wage increases and bonuses, maintains quality, affordable health care coverage, and strengthens retirement benefits, the USW said. – Tire Business

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Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth comes out swinging against toll
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth on Monday voiced opposition to a proposed toll bridge in south Alabama, saying it will be a burden on the region’s working families. The Republican is one of nine members on the Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority. “A state that built the rockets that sent men to the moon should be able to find a way to build a bridge without extorting the citizens it seeks to serve,” he tweeted. – AP

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