What could soon be Union County’s newest industry will not only have an impact on the county but on the Upstate and the rest of South Carolina.
Union County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve first reading of an incentive agreement between the county and a company known by the code name “Project Metric.” In presenting the proposed incentive agreement to council, Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said it includes a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement which will enable Project Metric to pay a reduced property tax rate; a special revenue source credit; a transfer of land from the county to Project Metric; an option for the company to purchase more land; and other related matters between the county and Project Metric.
Sinclair declined to provide any details about the proposed incentive agreement other than to say that the details were still being worked out. Nor would he reveal the identity of Project Metric or give any other details about the company or where it would be located. He did, however, say, the company would have a major impact far beyond the boundaries of Union County.
“It is a very comprehensive project,” Sinclair said. “It will be good for Union County. It will be good for the Upstate region. It will be good for the State of South Carolina.”
Second reading of the proposed incentive agreement is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday.
“We’re trying to move the project as quickly as we can,” Sinclair said.
In other business, council voted unanimously to give Sinclair the authority to give a county employee the responsibility of compiling a monthly report to council on the grants the county receives for economic, environmental and community improvement projects.
Sinclair made the suggestion to council, pointing that in recent years the county has received a variety of grants totaling several million dollars. These include economic development grants used to help recruit new industries like ESAB Welding and Cutting Projects and the Belk eCommerce distribution and fulfillment center; the recent bronwnfields assessment grants to determine which sites in the county are contaminated with hazardous materials and/or petroleum waste and plan for their clean-up; and the Community Development Block Grants for the revitalization of the Ottaray community.
With all this money coming in to the county, Sinclair said there should be one person responsible for dealing with the agencies awarding the grants, assembling all pertinent information about the grants the county receives, and providing council with that information.
“We just need somebody to serve as a liaison with the granting agencies and keep council informed,” Sinclair said.