Project Dogwood -- It's a Go for first reading.
Action has begun at the County level to entice an industry to invest $17.2 million and bring 135 new jobs to the City of Clinton’s spec building off I-26 at Hwy 72.
This was Clinton’s second spec building - the first was leased by General Electric’s wind turbine research branch, moving from Greenville. The new industry’s name has not yet been revealed.
It is Project Dogwood, and at the Laurens County Council’s April 26 meeting it received approval of an enticement resolution, first reading of a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes ordinance, designation as the first industry in a new multi-county industrial park, and acceptance of a state grant to facilitate the project.
Another prospect, Project Duke, also was given that acceptance of state money approval by the council.
Added to the agenda, council gave 3rd and final reading to an ordinance authorizing the latest expansion of the massive ZF Transmissions plant in Gray Court-Owings.
For Project Dogwood, Jon Coleman, President and CEO of the Laurens County Development Corporation, said the new industry will be designed for an industrial area similar to the Hunter Industrial Park in Laurens. Money generated from the business will go to a funds for maintenance and enhancement of the park, controlled by representative of the City of Clinton and county council members Dianne Anderson and David Tribble, as the members whose districts most closely involve Clinton (District 6 and 7). That keeps the issues from having to return to the full county council for approval every time money needs to be spent.
The state grants to facilitate Projects Dogwood and Duke will be $100,000 each. Additional approvals and information will be forthcoming from the County Council’s upcoming meetings, the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Laurens.
In other action, the county council gave the first of three readings to its general operations budget, using figures from last year, when taxes were levied top raise $12,945,000. The council can, if it wants to, increase spending by 5.07% which is the current rate of inflation.
The Fire Budget was also approved but title, and council agreed to send all the local sales tax money back to the treasury for property tax relief (rather than keep some for operations, as allowed by state law).
County Administrator Thomas Higgs was authorized to seek professional services to develop a zoning ordinance; it will take about 2 years for it to come to a council vote.
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