Commissioners approve incentives to attract 0 million in investment, 280 jobs to county

Commissioners approve incentives to attract $270 million in investment, 280 jobs to county

More than $270 million in economic investment and more than 280 jobs could be on the horizon in Henderson County if two companies decide to locate here following economic incentives approved by the Board of Directors.

Public hearings were held Tuesday for Project Chicago and Project Delta, code names for two unnamed companies that have requested anonymity due to “competitive pressure.” The commissioners approved a combined total of more than $10 million in economic incentives for the projects.

During public comments, concerns were raised that the proposals were “secret deals” because little information was known about the companies, including the names and what they produce. One resident said she feared one company was involved in military production. It is routine for projects to remain anonymous to the public during the approval of economic incentives and before companies make their final decisions.

Chairman Bill Lapsley said the projects are not linked to the military-industrial complex and that the code names are being used at the request of the developers, reiterating that this is common practice at this stage of the process.

Project Delta

The unnamed Project Delta business will be an agricultural production facility and a reported investment of $260 million. Of that total, $104 million is in real estate.

The project would create 227 new jobs with an average wage of $88,000, according to the county.

Henderson County Agribusiness Director Mark Williams emphasized that wages in Henderson County were well above average.

The commissioners approved a maximum of $9.88 million in economic incentives for the project. They would last seven years from each investment year. The process would be structured such that approximately $3.97 million would be advanced to the company to purchase and build the facility. That would be repaid through the first incentives the company earned, County Attorney Russ Burrell explained. Since incentives are earned over the course of the company’s investment, they are credited first to repay the initial advance.

The incentives would be financed from property tax revenues.

Project Chicago

The unnamed Project Chicago company is only described as a manufacturer already based in North Carolina. The total investment would be approximately $10 million, with $1 million in real estate and $9 million in equipment.

The project will reportedly create 54 new jobs and an average wage of $58,000 per year, which is also above the average wage for the county.

The maximum incentives approved by commissioners is $203,763. The incentives, which would last five years of each year’s investment, would also be funded from property tax revenues.

All current commissioners approved the incentives for both projects. Commissioner Mike Edney was absent on Tuesday.

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