Thomasville to consider federal grants

Money would go toward incentives
Aug. 13, 2013 @ 01:33 PM

Thomasville City Council is scheduling a pair of public hearings to consider federal grants for two companies looking to invest in the Chair City.

Council will hold public hearings on Sept. 9 for community development block grant applications  for Project HEM and Project Z13. if approved, the two grants could result in $1 million worth of investments being made in Thomasville.

"The city, along with these two companies is planning to potentially apply for CDBG grants," City Manager Kelly Craver. "They would both be for up to $500,000 of matching funds for these companies."

Funds from the grants are used for renovating existing buildings to open new businesses and create jobs. CDBG grants are federally funded and managed by the city, who creates a loan agreement with the company to create jobs. The company must match the grant, which could equal up to $1 million in renovations and investment, Craver said. The loan would be forgiven after five years if the company maintains the number of jobs they promised to create.

Project HEM is a merger of two companies that plan to invest $2.3 million and create 30 jobs. Project Z13, an injections molding firm, plans to invest $2.2 million and create 11 jobs. City Council and Davidson County Commissioners already have approved economic development incentives for both companies.

"The money passes through us," Craver said of the CDBG grant. "We loan it to a company. The company does the renovations and get reimbursed through the loan. If they maintain the jobs for five years, the won't have to pay it back. It's forgiven at 20 percent for five years. If something happens after the first year, they'd have to pay back 80 percent of it."

At its monthly meeting on Aug. 19, council also will call for another public hearing scheduled for Sept. 16 to consider closing a unopened street. Craver said a request was made by a developer to close a portion of Clover Lane in order to expand an existing facility. Clover Lane never opened and only is considered a right-of-way, but a public hearing must be held to consider the developer's petition.

"You have people who years and years ago had dreams of building on a street that don't come true," Craver said. "It was mapped out years ago but it fell through. The right-of-way still exists. When that happens the street needs to be closed."

Craver said Flint Trading on Todd Court is looking to expand a facility that could lead to new jobs.  

 

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.