Incentives continue to drive Economic Development


By Stan Welch

Anderson County Council continued its approval of present and future economic developments in The Journal’s coverage area Tuesday night, giving necessary approvals to various incentive agreements for two projects.

The first, Euwe Eugen Wexler U.S. Plastics Inc., received final approval of several incentives, as well as approval of their purchase of approximately eleven acres of land from the county. The company purchased a spec building built by the county in order to attract industry to the Alliance Park. The site included a fifty thousand square foot building shell built by the county. Economic development director Burriss Nelson reported to the Council that the company is already planning to expand the building, possibly before they even open the facility.

The company will also be granted right of first refusal on the adjacent thirteen acres still owned by the county in the business park. That right will last for five years from last night’s vote.

Second reading approval was given to several incentives for Project Machine, a reportedly major manufacturing concern which is involved in developing the Betsy Tucker industrial site near the intersection of Highway 81 and I-85. The company remains unidentified, but will have to come forward prior to final approvals being given.

Some of the results of Anderson County’s remarkable economic development achievements in recent months can be seen in the latest employment statistics, for March . Unemployment in the county dropped .4%, to 5.6%. Statewide unemployment is 6.7%. Four hundred people entered the workforce in March.

In other business, District Two Councilwoman Gracie Floyd insisted on reading a Fair Housing resolution aloud. The resolution was unanimously adopted by Council at an earlier meeting, but was not read into the minutes in open meeting. Floyd orated for several minutes over the importance of the resolution before reading it into the record.

The Council later declined to provide additional funding to the Anderson Interfaith Ministries organization, which was seeking funding to use as leverage money to meet match requirements for grants used to provide and or repair housing for those in need.

A tentative schedule for the project to relocate the voters’ registration and election commission offices to the old Bank of America building, and the subsequent demolition of the Bailes building has been released. As currently scheduled, bids on the asbestos abatement phase of the project are due on May 14, with the contract to be awarded and work begun by June 1. Abatement work should be completed by the end of July.

June will see the acceptance of bids on demolition of the old Bailes building with contracts awarded in July and demolition starting by August 1. In the meantime, beginning next month, renovations to the Bank of America building will begin, with relocation of the offices to that building slated for mid-July.