The Lee County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing in the coming weeks to consider four economic development projects that would bring nearly 1,500 new jobs and a staggering $2 billion plus in tax base investment.
The Sanford Area Growth Alliance issued a public notice Thursday detailing the public hearing, which will be held by the Lee County Board of Commissioners at a special called meeting on Nov. 30. The names of the companies apparently eyeing the area for expansion or relocation aren’t disclosed, but one is apparently a manufacturer looking to invest $7.5 million and create 300 jobs, and the other three are life sciences companies looking to invest a collective $2.088 billion and create 1,175 jobs.
In exchange for locating here and meeting goals regarding jobs and investment, the companies would receive incentives – grants which are paid out after the companies have paid annual property taxes – worth a total of about $86.6 million over the course of seven to 10 years.
While Lee County in recent years has enjoyed success in attracting new companies, often but not always using incentives, political approval of the new projects is not guaranteed. With Democratic Commissioner Kevin Dodson currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a vote this week to assign collateral for a second shell building at the Central Carolina Enterprise Park failed after a tie split the board’s remaining Republicans and Democrats (another motion to endorse the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution similarly failed after a tie vote).
Further, the board typically doesn’t vote on economic development projects of this nature at the same meeting as the public hearing, meaning a new board under Republican control (Republicans flipped the board to a 4-3 majority in this month’s election) could have the final say. The current Republicans on the Board of Commissioners have historically voted against the economic incentives, and it’s unknown whether Republican newcomer Bill Carver would join their opposition.
Reached for comment, Carver – who has not yet been sworn in – said he was aware of the proposals but was still looking at “how we’re going to proceed.”
“(another motion to endorse the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution similarly failed after a tie vote)” say what??? little ole Lee county can do this?? my my my our britches have gotten a little big…..
I honestly don’t think Lee county is ready.
i.e. in order to make (#4) 110k average over 700 positions = TRUE the average 700 jobs would be ~$52 an hour. You either have a few, very well paid people, the rest left to above-average wages (Lee co averages about 8-14$/hr) The median income for NC is 52K or $26 per hr ($21,745 for Lee county) and we are still not there.
While technically true, ~2.09B would be added to the tax base (over ten years) with ~ 1475 jobs, the county still on the hook for 86.6M (if the companies meet thier goals/year)
So not only would the “companies” in question be paying for the privilege, in addition to the salaries ( which I would almost guarantee to be out of towners making the bulk of it) Unfortunately we do not have the workforce, trained and ready to go INTO these positions.
Nevermind the horrible property deals, that the county has made, and continues to make, over the next Ten (10) years.
Just my 2 cents