Googe: Investment will be returned to city

Thomasville Council approves economic incentives
Apr. 25, 2014 @ 03:10 PM

City Council approved an incentives package for a company planning to relocate and create 20 jobs in Thomasville.

Council  unanimously voted April 21 to award Project MEND, a metal working company, a five-year economic development incentives grant which includes giving the unnamed business money up front to help with its move to Thomasville. Council approved an incentives package of .0028 times the company's investment in plant, machinery and equipment each year for five years, not to exceed $5,600 annually.

Steve Googe, executive director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission, said the company plans to create 20 jobs with wages above the county average and invest $2 million over the first three years of the project.

“There is no question that if this is approved you will see this investment returned to you through property tax, school tax, water, sewer and other fees,” Googe told council. “It also will provide $650,000 worth of payroll to be spent in the Thomasville area.”

Council and the Davidson County Commissioners, who approved a similar incentives package for Project MEND earlier this month, both agreed to give the company the third year's incentives up front to help with relocation expenses. As part of its agreement, the council included a clause that if the company fails to meet its requirements for investment and job creation, the company must reimburse the city.

“This will provide a little over $10,000 to assist the company in building a future in Thomasville,” said Googe. “On the third year, [the company] is required to meets its jobs and investment. What we're asking for is that third year when they would be held accountable.”

Thomasville resident Barney Hill during a public hearing approved of the incentives package but opposed giving the company money up front.

“I find it hard to believe that $5,600 in relocation expenses would be a deal killer for a company that can afford to invest $2 million,” Hill said. “I support the request as advertised on April 5. I oppose the modification.”

Googe told Councilman Neal Grimes that the company plans to use an existing building in Thomasville. The Davidson County tax assessor will be the final authority on values of the project.

In other business, the Council voted to dissolve its Thomasville City Government Youth Council and endorse the Thomasville Area Teen Council. City Manager Kelly Craver said the Thomasville City Government Youth Council garnered only three applicants for the program while the Teen Council initiative has been successful.

“It is the desire of the council to merge these two groups,” said Craver.

Council approved a new three-year lease agreement for Finch Field with the Thomasville HiToms.

 

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