Commissioners approve incentives to attract $270M in investments, 280 jobs to county

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Over $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 Commissioners.

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

Concerns were voiced during public comments about the proposals being “secret deals” due to little information known about the businesses, including the names and what they manufacture. A resident said she feared one business was involved with military manufacturing. It is routine for projects to remain anonymous to the public during the approval of economic incentives and before company’s make their final decisions.

Chairman Bill Lapsley said the projects were not linked to the military industrial complex, and that the code names are used at the request of the developers, which he again emphasized is common at this stage of the process.

Project Delta  

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

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

Agribusiness Henderson County Executive Director Mark Williams stressed that the wage was well above average in Henderson County.

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

The incentives would be funded through property tax revenue.

Project Chicago  

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

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

The maximum approved incentives by commissioners are $203,763. The incentives, which would last for five years from each year’s investment, would also be funded through property tax revenue.

All present commissioners approved the incentives for both projects. Commissioner Mike Edney was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

This article originally appeared on Hendersonville Times-News: Commissioners approve incentives to attract $270M in investments, 280 jobs to county