Hearings set on econ dev projects in county
Keith Strange Staff Reporter
DOBSON — A pair of public hearings on proposed economic development projects highlight the agenda when the Surry County Board of Commissioners meet for its meeting tonight
The meeting, held today instead of its normally scheduled first Monday of the month due to the Labor Day holiday, is set to get under way at 6 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson.
The first hearing is on a proposed incentive package for an as-yet-unnamed company known as “Project Stretch.”
The proposal is for the county to provide an incentive grant over five years for not more than $109,782, following an investment by the company, which is seeking to expand its local operations, of $6.5 million to be made by Jan. 1, 2016.
The $109,782 in incentives would be in the form of refunded property taxes the industry would pay over the five-year period. In addition, the company would receive a $5,000 building reuse grant from the North Carolina Rural Center.
Project Stretch is expected to create 55 full-time jobs by Jan. 1, 2018.
Addressing the proposed incentive package during a recent meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners, Surry County Economic Development Partnership President Todd Tucker told that board that the package isn’t just about creating 55 jobs, but saving 50 jobs already in the county with the company.
Tucker said there is competition in other areas who are vying for the expansion.
“What this means is if we don’t win this, we will more than likely lose… what we have,” he told the Mount Airy board..
The facility already here is part of a larger multi-plant corporation that is considering consolidating its production among operations 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.
The second public hearing before the county board is for a smaller project known as “Project Hops.”
The board is considering an incentive package for the project of not more than $11,000 over five years.
That money would be contingent on a minimum investment of $677,000 to be made by Jan. 1, 2015, and the creation of three full-time jobs in the county.
Following the public hearings, Tax Director Michael Hartgrove is expected to address planning for next year’s county-wide property revaluation.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.
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