Incentives approved; waiting game begins

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

September 9, 2013

Now that Mount Airy and Surry County officials each have signed off on incentives for a local industry eyeing a $6.5 million expansion, it’s now a matter of hoping for a positive outcome of 55 new jobs.

The city board of commissioners did its part Thursday night by approving an incentive package of nearly $115,000 for “Project Stretch,” a code name used to keep the company’s identity a secret.

That includes about $109,782 in property tax refunds for the industry, to be paid over a five-year period, and a $5,000 local match for grant funds being requested from the North Carolina Rural Center.

The Surry County Board of Commissioners had taken identical action Tuesday night.

Officials have said the unnamed local manufacturer is part of a larger multi-plant corporation considering the consolidation of production among facilities located in Mount Airy, the Midwest and Southeast.

Its parent company has been in business for decades and is an international exporter that also sells to U.S. markets, officials say, supplying products for the automotive and construction industries.

Mount Airy is competing with localities in three other states for the proposed expansion.

Along with the 55 new jobs, the decision on whether the expansion occurs locally will affect 50 people already employed by the company in Mount Airy. The new positions would be added by the end of 2017.

The expansion includes a personal property investment of about $6.5 million by the industry for new manufacturing equipment and renovations to its existing facility.

In another move Thursday night, the city commissioners reappointed Eric Hodges to the Mount Airy Appearance Commission. Hodges was approved for a new three-year term that will expire on June 30, 2016.

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