Blythewood Council partners with County, State to lure industry

In a special called meeting last Monday night at Town Hall, the Blythewood Town Council acted on a heavy agenda, beginning with a resolution that authorized Mayor Pro-Tem Roger Hovis to sign a joint memorandum of understanding with Richland County and the S.C. Department of Commerce in reference to a development they call “Project Resolve.”

While the project was shrouded in secrecy, it was disclosed to be an economic development project that involved the expansion of a bearing manufacturer into the Blythewood area, to be located in a multi-county industrial park within the county.

The project would be a united effort between the Town of Blythewood, Richland County and the Department of Commerce.

The memorandum stated that these governments and the Department of Commerce desire to provide economic incentives to the manufacturer in order to induce it to expand its business into the unnamed proposed site.

The resolution states that Project Resolve would result in substantial investment and the creation of 175 new jobs over a period of five years. The memorandum also said the company would invest a minimum of $130 million at the facility within that five years.

According to the memorandum, the Commerce Department  is agreeing to:

• Grant job tax credits;

• Grant $750,000 for site preparation and infrastructure for the facility;

• Provide $350,000 to the County for job training assistance;

• Give an investment tax credit for taxes that range from Tier IV of 100 percent to Tier I of 55 percent of wages for five years. This formula is based either on the hourly wage rate or other factors whichever is lower; and

• Give an enterprise zone credit based on the $130 million and 175 new jobs to be created.

The County is agreeing to:

• Purchase 9.5 acres, transfer it to the company and make it part of the joint county industrial park;

• Agree to a fee-in-lieu of property taxes based on a fixed millage of 405.5 mils for 30 years (not to be effected by rising property taxes over that period of time).

• Give a special source revenue credit of 60 percent of the fee-in-lieu of taxes for the first 10 years and 40 percent of the fee-in-lieu of taxes for the next ten years; and

• Collect business license fees from the company if more than 50 percent of the company’s buildings square footage is in the county.

The Town of Blythewood agrees to:

• Collect business license fees from the company if more than 50 percent of its buildings’ square footage is in the Town.

In other business, Council approved a bonded plat  and a surety bond of $394000 for Abney Hills, Phase I.

The meeting ended with an executive session in which Council discussed negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements.