The identity of an existing industry seeking incentives from local government for an expansion is shrouded in mystery, but one thing is clear: Surry County is not the only place vying for its company.
“We’re in competition,” Mount Airy Community Development Coordinator Martin Collins said Thursday afternoon when the city board of commissioners voted to set a public hearing on an incentive package proposed for the metal-working manufacturer with the code name “Project Shield.”
It plans to create 20 jobs while investing $1.5 million for new equipment and upgrades to a building.
But this is enticing an additional locality besides Mount Airy, according to Collins.
“There’s another city in another state that would really like to have this company,” he said.
Mount Airy is offering up to $33,090 in incentives, which includes a $5,000 matching grant from the North Carolina Rural Center. Surry County also is considering an incentive package for Project Shield which involves a cash grant of about $28,000 from the rural center with a local match of up to $5,000.
Public hearings on the respective packages are scheduled at 6 p.m. on March 18 for the county, during a meeting in the Elkin High School Media Center, and March 21 at 7 p.m. for the city, in the Municipal Building.
The company, located in the city limits, is wanting to expand its facility with another plant it operates outside North Carolina. The 20 jobs, representing higher skills and above-average wages, would be created over a two-year period.
Surry Economic Development Partnership President Todd Tucker also said earlier this week that the planned expansion could lead to bigger and better things.
“They’re a business in good standing,” Collins agreed Thursday afternoon of the entity involved. “They’ve been a good corporate citizen.”
The city’s community development coordinator explained that the incentives are based on new tax revenues expected to be generated by the industrial expansion, with a payout period of five years. Typically, a company approved for incentives will pay the property taxes owed over the coming years, then receive a rebate in exchange for its job-creation and other public benefits.
Restroom Plan Moving
In another matter Thursday afternoon, the city commissioners gave the nod to seek cost estimates for adding a restroom facility on land Mount Airy is leasing from Veterans Memorial Park.
The restrooms would serve both users of the park as well as the Emily B. Taylor Greenway that adjoins the park.
“I’m in favor of the bathrooms,” Commissioner Shirley Brinkley said, which she was told would be located at the upper portion of the greenway in a corner of the veterans property near West Lebanon Street.
However, Dean Brown, another commissioner, said “restroom” and not “bathroom” facilities are targeted, making the point that shower fixtures won’t be included.
In December 2008, the Mount Airy commissioners approved a long-term agreement with the Veterans Memorial Park governing board for the city government to lease 1.5 acres at the park.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.