By Stan Welch
In a special called meeting Tuesday, Anderson County Council voted to give third and final reading to an agreement to restructure two fee in lieu of taxes agreements (FILOT) with Robert Bosch,LLC.
Anderson County economic development director Burriss Nelson explained to the Journal just what the changes involve. “When the FILOT legislation was first written back in 1978, there were considerable concerns about whether the concept would withstand legal challenges. So the various counties used a lease agreement contract, as a legal fiction, to make it appear that the county in question owned the property and was simply leasing it to the company.”
Nelson went on to say that since the FILOT legislation has survived two major challenges, Bosch asked that the agreements be altered to reflect the company’s ownership of the properties involved, something Nelson said the county is happy to do.
The two FILOTs have expiration dates, one in 2018, and the other in 2023. “We would anticipate that Bosch will seek extensions, and I would certainly anticipate that such an accommodation would be forthcoming from the County Council in place at that time,” said Nelson.
“Bosch has been such a corporate presence in the decades since it came to Anderson County that we are pleased to cooperate with them in this matter. In addition to employing well over a thousand people in our area, they have always been corporate supporters of the Anderson area. We are proud and glad to have them here as our neighbors.”
Bosch suffered heavy setbacks in 2008, when the national and global economy took such a downturn. At one point they filed for bankruptcy protection. But Nelson said that by diversifying, and reducing their dependence on the automotive market, the company has rallied nicely.
“The majority of people laid off at the Anderson facility have been put back to work, and the rest are expected to return by summer of 2012. Bosch has bounced back through hard work and good management, to the extent that they are about to launch a new capital investment program at the Anderson site in the amount of forty million dollars.”