UNION COUNTY — Two pieces of legislation designed to promote economic development both locally and regionally received final approval from Union County Council this week.
During Tuesday’s council meeting, council gave final approval to an amendment to an agreement between the county and Belk Inc. and to a multi-county industrial park agreement with Spartanburg County involving Michelin.
In July, Gov. Nikki Haley’s office announced that Belk Inc. would invest $47 million in its eCommerce distribution and fulfillment center on US 176 in the Jonesville area of Union County. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2015, involves the addition of 345,000 square feet of newly constructed space to the 515,000-square-foot building.
The investment is to create 20 new jobs at the Belk facility which would be in addition to the 170 the company had previously announced it would be adding by the end of 2015.
In order to facilitate the expansion, Union County Council voted in May to approve two pieces of legislation providing the company with financial incentives for the project.
The first was a resolution stating that if the company, then known by the code name “Project Southern,” invested $40 million and created 20 new, full-time jobs with benefits between Jan. 1, 2014 and Jan. 31, 2018 then the terms of two different credits provided by company under an agreement with the county would be extended for another five years.
Council also approved first reading of an ordinance amending a special source revenue credit agreement for the company.
For an ordinance to become law, county council must approve three readings of it with a public hearing held between the second and third readings.
That hearing was held Tuesday afternoon shortly before the council meeting during which council voted unanimously to approve third and final reading of the ordinance.
Council also voted unanimously to approve third and final reading of an amendment to a multi-county industrial park agreement with Spartanburg County.
The agreement is for the development of an industrial or business park within the boundaries of Spartanburg and Union counties.
The amendment will enlarge the boundaries of the park to include additional property owned and/or operated by Michelin.
The purpose of the amendment is to accommodate the expansion announced by Michelin earlier this year and to allow the company to receive tax breaks afforded to companies whose properties are included in multi-county industrial parks.
Under the terms of multi-county industrial park agreements, companies that have facilities within those parks pay reduced taxes on their property. The county in which the park is located receives 99 percent of the revenue generated by the parks while the county it partners with receives one percent.
When council approved second reading of the amendment in July, Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said the inclusion of the Michelin expansion will increase the amount of tax revenue generated by the park. Sinclair said this will result in increased revenue for Union County.
The revenue generated by the multi-county industrial park agreements is used by Union County to help finance industrial development within the county.
In other business, council voted unanimously to approve the appointment or reappointment of five people to the Union County Development Board.
Reappointed to the board were Emma Garner and Paul Newhouse, both of whom had requested reappointment.
Council also approved a request for appointment to the board by Bill All.
Also approved was Union County Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker’s request that Joe Hines be appointed the board’s at-large member.
Union County School District Superintendent Dr. Kristi Woodall was appointed to another term as an ex-oficio member of the board.