Lee Steam project eligible for incentives

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By inclusion in multi-county industrial park

By Stan Welch

The Anderson County Council tied up some loose ends Tuesday night, giving third and final approval to a couple of incentive packages for companies locating in the area.

One of the votes was to finalize the language in an ordinance to insure that the Lee Steam Plant upgrade project is eligible for inclusion in a multicounty industrial park, qualifying that project for significant incentives. District Six Councilman Ken Waters, a Duke employee, recused himself from the vote.

The project, which is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs and infuse a six hundred million dollar capital investment into the area, will begin construction in the spring of 2015. It will change the steam plant over from coal to gas fired turbines as one step in Duke’s efforts to move to cleaner generating methods. Councilwoman Cindy Wilson supported the ordinance, saying that the project presents the opportunity to remove particulate matter from the atmosphere, while creating jobs.

In other actions, the Council unanimously approved first reading of two zoning requests. The developers of two small tracts of land, one of 3.52 acres, and the other of 1.59 acres, were both requesting rezoning of the tracts from R-20 (single residential) status to R-D status. The change would permit construction of duplex housing on the sites.

The smaller tract is located at the corner of Club Road and Beaverdam Road, while the larger one is at the intersection of Breazeale Road, Club Road and Beaverdam Road. The zoning requests received unanimous recommendation from both the zoning advisory board and the planning advisory board. Two more readings of the ordinance amendment are required for approval, and one public hearing will be held.