UNION COUNTY — A road leased to one of the new industries to locate in Union County in recent years will be returned to the county for the construction of a road to an adjacent industrial park.
ESAB, Inc. is a global producer of a wide array of welding and cutting applications employing more than 9,000 in 122 manufacturing facilities on four continents. Those facilities include the company’s 260,000-square-foot Midway manufacturing plant located at 256 Midway Drive, Union, which the company spent $19 million to renovate and equip. The facility employs 101 people in the production of high performance MIG and sub-arc welding wire.
In May 2011, ESAB began leasing Midway Drive and the old Midway plant through a lease-to-own agreement with the county and the City of Union which owned the road and the facility. Under the terms of the agreement, ESAB pays a monthly leasing fee to the city and the county for the duration of the agreement at the end of which the company would own the property.
Nearly three years later, Union County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend the ordinance authorizing the lease agreement to allow Midway Drive to again be included in the county’s road system.
Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said the county is seeking the return of Midway Drive to the county system in order to build a road from it to an industrial park adjacent to ESAB owned by Pacolet Milliken. Sinclair the county will use Utility Tax Credits provided by Lockhart Power to help finance the construction of road to the industrial park which he said is a state-certified industrial site. He said the purpose of the construction of the road is to promote economic development.
“This makes the park more attractive to industries,” Sinclair said.
Sinclair said ESAB is still paying for the building it now occupies and will still own it at the end of the lease period. The road, however, will remain county property.
The project will also include the construction of a tractor-trailer pull off lane.
In other business, council also voted unanimously to amend the ordinance creating the Carlisle Fire District.
When originally enacted in 1997, the ordinance established a six-member Board of Fire Control to govern the district.
The amendment approved by council Tuesday increases the number of board members to seven.
All members of the board will still be appointed by county council to four-year terms.
Council also voted unanimously Tuesday to approve three appointments to the Union County Airport Commission.
Prior to being approved by the full council, each member of the commission is appointed by a member of council. The appointees and the council members who appointed them are:
• Steve Bogan — Appointed by Councilman Frank Hart
• Daniel Burnett — Appointed by Supervisor Tommy Sinclair
• Danny Sanders — Appointed by Councilman Ben Ivey
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 14.