Incentives could bring jobs to Chair City
Thomasville City Council scheduled a public hearing concerning two economic incentive packages for a pair of companies.
Council unanimously voted at its monthly meeting to hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, June 17, to consider economic development incentives for Project HEM and Project Z13. City Manager Kelly Craver told council both incentive packages would be for five years and equal to .0028 times the investment by each company.
Davidson County Commissioners already have approved similar incentives for both projects.
Craver provided few details regarding the incentive packages, and council members seemed to know little about who the companies are or what the investments would be.
Councilman Neal Grimes said any approved incentive package requires the company to meet certain requirements centered mainly around job creation and capital investments, both of which benefit the surrounding community.
"It's not a handout or a freebie," Grimes said. "Whenever we've got an opportunity to improve our tax base with a company that's going to spend money on their facility and hire some people at a good wage, it's a good thing to do."
Steve Googe, executive director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission, told county commissioners that Project HEM is a merger of two companies planning to invest in the area. The intent of the companies is to invest $2.3 million and create 30 jobs with a wage equal to the county average. Commissioners approved an incentive package for five years not to exceed $6,210 annually.
Googe said Project Z13 is an injections molding firm with plans to invest $2 million and create at least 11 jobs with an average salary of $50,000. Commissioners approved a five-year incentives package that would not exceed $5,940 annually.
" I really appreciate the way our city and county governments do incentives," said Councilman Scott Styers. "If there is no investment, there is no incentive paid out. It is based on the investment, the job opportunities, and the investment in machinery and equipment that dictate that amount.
"I see it as a win-win. It's a win for businesses that want to either relocate here or expand. It's also a win for our taxpayers because we're essentially giving back money that would be equal to or only a portion of the investment that is made so I don't really see a downside to it."
In other news, the council voted to hold a public hearing on June 17 concerning Community Development Block Grants. Grimes said the move is to keep Thomasville in the running for potential CDBG grants next year.
"It keeps us in the game," Grimes said.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.