Proposed jobs represent potential boon for county
Hundreds of jobs could soon provide Thomasville an economic boon if an unidentified manufacturing and logistics company agrees to bring its business to Thomasville.
The Davidson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an economic development incentive grant Tuesday as a part of Project Plum, which proposes to add 250 jobs. According to Commissioner Larry Potts, the company would invest $24 million in a new plant, machinery and equipment, while adding jobs which are expected to pay an average wage close to the county's average wage of nearly $14 per hour.
"We're a manufacturing county and we've been one for 150 years," Potts said. "We have people who are able to make products, not just a service-oriented county. Over a period of time, if I put 50 families back to work, that's 100 school kids that's going to be buying clothes, eating out and it's going to make a difference in people's lives."
The county’s commitment is a $2 million incentives package, which includes the $1 million purchase of land on Clarksbury Church Road, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 East and N.C. Highway 109, near three wood products companies and the Lowes millwork and flatbed distribution center. Commissioners agreed to appropriate the $1 million of its general fund balance to purchase approximately 142 acres for the project.
The county would then lease the land to this company for 10 years at $100,000 per year. If the company maintains investment, job and wage expectations each year, the county would reimburse the funds in the form of an annual grant — which is written not to exceed $100,000 per year over the span of 10 years.
This announcement was met with skepticism by Fair Grove resident Barney W. Hill, who proposed an alternative course of action during the public hearing.
"You are going to pay the company back the million dollars it pays you in rent for the land you bought for the company," Hill said. "And this is going to take 10 years. Why not let the company itself buy the land?"
As opposed to the approved proposal, Hill suggested the Board offer a tax rebate contract. Potts said the objective of recruiting this business remains to promote the welfare of the citizens of Davidson County.
"We're hoping that now that we've done this that they'll make a decision and in 30 days, we'll be looking at the actual verbiage of the contract."
Site Selection magazine reported Davidson County had the third-most economic-development projects for micropolitan areas in the country in 2012. Project Plum is the most significant potential project since September 2010, when Timco Aviation Systems agreed to add 500 jobs in Wallburg.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.