Incentives approved for Project Dough’

First Posted: 12/4/2009

Mount Airy officials have approved an incentives package they hope will help persuade a company to expand locally rather than elsewhere.
The city board of commissioners OKd up to $292,256 in incentives Thursday night for Project Dough, a code name used in lieu of the manufacturers actual identity that is being kept secret at this stage of negotiations.
Todd Tucker, the president of the Surry Economic Development Partnership the countys foremost industry-recruitment agency confirmed Thursday night while speaking at a public hearing on the incentives that an existing local company is involved.
Sources have disclosed that it is a bakery manufacturer wishing to expand in Piedmont Triad West Corporate Park, thus matching the description of Harvest Time Bread Co. located on Mountain View Lane in the park.
Reports have indicated that the Project Dough company also is considering relocating to Virginia as well as elsewhere in North Carolina.
Tucker was one of two speakers who urged the commissioners to approve the incentives during Thursday nights hearing. The other was Betty Ann Collins, the president of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.
We cant afford to lose any jobs, Collins told city officials, with her comment reflecting Surry Countys present 12.5 percent unemployment rate arising from a series of plant closings in recent years.
Project Doughs outcome could affect up to 200 jobs, based on estimates supplied by a source.
The importance of the project was reflected in the commissioners handling of the incentives proposal Thursday night. Normally, they delay action on matters for which public hearings are held until a later meeting, so officials can digest comments made.
Thursday, however, they OKd the package after moving to a closed session for about 15 minutes and then returning to open session. That was done in order to meet a timeline of the company considering the expansion.
The incentives package includes a transfer of land held jointly by Mount Airy and Surry County with a value to the city of $230,911. The remainder of the package calls for a tax-incentive grant amounting to 45 percent of property taxes that would be paid by the company over a five-year period, not to exceed $61,345.
It was announced earlier that county officials would provide similar incentives.
Tucker said Thursday night that along with seeking new jobs, another key objective for the Economic Development Partnership is promoting expansions among existing firms, which Project Dough represents.
He indicated that there have been positive developments in attracting industry from outside the county recently, mentioning a new plant being constructed by Central States Manufacturing Inc. and another operation planned by Catalina Tempering.
Central States makes metal-building components, while Catalina is a window manufacturer. Plans call for those projects to create 65 jobs between them.
We have been fortunate in the last couple of months to have two new companies come to Mount Airy, Tucker said. Hopefully, in the future we will have more.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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