County approves economic incentives

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By Stan Welch
Anderson County continues to retain existing businesses, and attract new ones, often with a series of economic incentives. Such was the case at Tuesday’s County Council meeting.
Two such incentive packages were approved Tuesday night. The first one was a combination of a thirty year fee in lieu of taxes agreement and inclusion in a multi-county industrial park, which also brings certain incentives with it. The Timken Company of Honea Path will receive those incentives following two more readings of the ordinance.
The Timken Company has been in Anderson County for thirty five years and already employs approximately 250 people. The expansion will create fifty new jobs and add an annual payroll of $1.5 million to the existing $7.8 million payroll. But it will do more than that. It will cement the long term relationship between the company and the County; a relationship that was in danger in recent years due to pressure on Timken to relocate for economic reasons.
“At one time, it looked like Timken might go elsewhere,” said Councilwoman Cindy Wilson, who represents the district that the company is located in. “It’s exciting to see them expanding here, and the economic development department is to be congratulated for their good work.”
The second package that Council gave first reading approval to will be offered to a company code named Project Palmetto, which will create 45 new jobs and generate an investment of approximately $4 million in the north end of the county. It will generate an annual income of approximately $1 million and will produce $48,000 in property taxes, as well as re-occupying some existing buildings.
In other business, Councilwoman Cindy Wilson addressed her concerns about some railroad crossings in her district, which she said can be cut off for extended periods of time, making it impossible for emergency services to reach some areas.
County Attorney Mike Pitts explained that federal regulations hold sway over railroads. “There isn’t much we can do because the federal government controls those kinds of issues,” said Pitts.
He confirmed however that the Gray Drive bridge in Williamston has been closed while the Greenville & Western Railroad affects repairs to the bridge.