Incentives approved for “Project Machine”

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Expected site location – I-85 and Hwy. 81

By Stan Welch

During their meeting Tuesday, Anderson County Council continued the legislative process aimed at securing the latest major economic development project for the county. Council gave first reading approval to various tax credits and other economic incentives related to Project Machine.

They also gave second reading approval to similar incentives for Project Owl, including the selling of certain property to the company which is slated to occupy the spec building built by the county last year in Alliance Park, for the sole purpose of attracting industry.

Project Machine, as the project is code named, is being touted as having a potential for growth equal to that of the First quality company; whose location in Anderson several years ago kicked off what has been a steady and remarkable run of industrial development in the county.

Project Machine is described by county officials as being a manufacturing concern with a heavy research and development component associated with it.

Recent references to the site, to be located on the Betsy Tucker industrial site, near the intersection of I-85 and Highway 81 North have included the description of the site as a campus.

County Administrator Rusty Burns would not take issue with that description Tuesday, saying that the research and development aspect of the company lends itself to such a view.

“This is a very exciting prospect for Anderson County, and as usual, our Council recognizes the opportunity and is working together to bring this project home successfully.”

County Economic Development Director Burriss Nelson informed Council that the company will create approximately 216 jobs, with the potential for additional growth over the coming decade that could result in hundreds more jobs.

The overall economic impact of the project over twenty years is projected at $343 million. Average salary will be twenty dollars an hour, and the capital investment is estimated at $85 million.

Council also approved a lease deal between the county and the landlord of the old Bank of America offices on North Main St.

The Council plans to move the election commission and voter registration offices to the site, due to safety concerns about the present location in the Bailes Building.