DOBSON — Following a brief public hearing, the Surry County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an incentive package economic development officials say will go a long way toward securing more than 100 existing jobs in the county.
The action came as the board met for its regular monthly meeting in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Surry County Government Center in Dobson.
The public hearing, on a project known as Project Press, was for an incentive package of not more than $85,300 that will be used to provide sewer service to the existing business located on the outskirts of Elkin.
In return, the unidentified company is expected to spend about $770,000 to extend sewer lines from its property line to the manufacturing facility.
Addressing the board during the public hearing, the only speaker, Surry County Economic Development Partnership Director Todd Tucker, told the board that the money will be used to help retain the 134 jobs the company offers in the county.
“Usually, we come here and talk about new businesses coming to town,” he told the board. “But today we’re helping an existing company that has been here for over 20 years.”
The company offers an average salary of more than $46,000, Tucker said, and will continue to invest in the community.
“This money isn’t going to the company, it’s going to the contractors who will be working on the project,” he said. “This $85,000 will end up leveraging more than $1.4 million when all is said and done for the sewer service, and that’s just the costs the company will end up expending on the sewer line. They also plan on investing another $1.6 million over the next several years on equipment.”
And while the business doesn’t plan on any initial hiring as a result of the investment, Tucker told the board that doesn’t mean jobs won’t become available in the future.
“About 75 percent of their workforce will reach retirement age over the next five years,” he said. “They’re going to need to hire people to replace them.”
Tucker said the company is critical to the southern part of the county.
“This is a major economic engine in that part of the county,” he said. “This isn’t just money going to the company, this is money that’s going into the ground that we can reap the benefits of later.”
Following Tucker’s address to the board, the incentive package was approved on a motion by Commissioner Paul Johnson with a second by Commissioner Larry Phillips.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.