DOBSON — Following a brief public hearing Monday night, the Surry County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to approve an incentive package they believe could result in a multi-million-dollar investment in the county and create up to 45 jobs.
The action came as the board met in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room of the Surry County Government Center in Dobson.
Addressing the as-yet-unnamed business, County Manager Chris Knopf said it was on the books as “Project Viking.”
Knopf said the proposed incentives total more than $100,000 spread out over several years.
“The county is proposing to issue an incentive grant to the company of not more than $107,000 over eight years, and will include a building re-use grant match,” he said, noting that the company is proposing to locate on 14.8 acres of property owned by the city of Mount Airy.
The grant match is from the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, which is based on a rate of $12,000 per job created, and requires a 5 percent local match.
“In exchange for this incentive package, the company is proposing to invest $7.4 million in the area by 2013 and create up to 45 jobs,” the county manager continued.
Speaking in favor of the incentive package, Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, said time was of the essence.
“We find that offering this incentive package to the company, which is also looking at locating in other areas, is vital to making this project happen,” he said.
“This is a good company and would give us much-needed job opportunities,” Tucker added.
The economic development president said the company manufactures synthetic leather for the aerospace, automotive and marine industries, and is hoping to locate in the former Harvest Time Bread building.
According to Tucker, the average wage of a production employee at the proposed new business is $35,000 a year.
“We’re in support of this and hope you will be as well,” he said.
The incentive package was passed on a motion by Commissioner R.F. “Buck” Golding, with a second by Vice Chairman Paul Johnson.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.