Charles Warner Editor
August 28, 2013
UNION — The economic development partnership between the City of Union and Union County continued Tuesday with the city agreeing to help provide the county with access to a loan program to finance the construction of a spec building.
In a special session Tuesday morning, Union City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Harold Thompson to enter into a resolution supporting Union County’s entrance into a loan program funded and underwritten by Santee Cooper.
“We’re a member of the PMPA (Piedmont Municipal Power Agency) which has a supplemental agreement with Santee Cooper,” Thompson said. “Under this agreement all the cities in PMPA have the opportunity to participate in this loan program if they choose to. What this resolution does is it enables the county to participate in the program through the city.”
Thompson said the county will use the loan to build a spec building in Commerce Park on U.S. 176 to help recruit new industry.
“This is a great opportunity to build a spec building and this is also a great opportunity to entice more business and industry to Union,” Thompson said. “A lot of industries are looking for buildings that are already standing and that’s been a drawback for us because we don’t have one.”
Thompson said that in addition to helping the county new industry that will bring investment and jobs to the county, the city will also benefit because it will be supplying electricity to the spec building.
In presenting the resolution to council, Utility Director Joe Nichols pointed out that earlier this year, during a joint meeting of city council and Union County Council hosted by the Union County Development Board, he and Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker discussed the need for a spec building. The discussion included financing the construction of the facility through the Santee Cooper loan program which offers a zero-percent interest rate for the first five years. In making their presentation to the councils, Powell-Baker and Nichols said they looked for the facility to be sold within five years of construction.
Thompson said he feels this will be yet another great opportunity for the city and the county to move forward with their economic development partnership.
“We saw this as a great opportunity and I’m excited about the city and the county taking this opportunity for economic development,” Thompson said. “This is a great partnership and a great opportunity. It’s a win-win for both the city and the county.”
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.