UNION — Economic incentives for a student housing projects who completion was celebrated two days later, financial support for the purchase of equipment for the local Farm & Crafts Market, funding for banners for Main Street, and the awarding of a bid for firefighting equipment were approved by Union City Council this week.
During its August meeting Tuesday evening, council voted unanimously to approve to approve second and final reading of an ordinance authorizing Economic Development Incentives for 101 W. Main Street Apartments.
Council approved first reading of the ordinance at its June meeting following a briefing by Robby Moody, Senior Planner for the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, about the project and the requested incentives.
In his presentation to council, Moody stated that property owner 101 West Main, LLC was requesting council “consider granting approval for Economic Development Incentives for 101 West Main Street Apartments. The estimated private investment is $6,422.50 based on fees paid to date. Additionally, when the apartments are leased a second business license will be required and will be eligible for a 50% rebate on an annual basis for up to five years.”
A worksheet prepared by Moody shows the following fees and the amounts paid by 101 West Main, LLC and the dates they were paid, the incentive rates, and the incentive amounts the company will receive.
— Water tap and meter(s), $870 paid on May 17, 2018; an incentive rate of 100 percent or $870.
— Sewer tap and meter(s), $710 paid on May 17, 2018; an incentive rate of 100 percent or $710.
— Electric meters, $350 paid on May 17, 2018; an incentive rate of 100 percent or $350.
— Gas tap, $330 paid on May 17, 2018; an incentive rate of 100 percent or $330.
— Fire protection, $3,250 paid on May 17, 2018; an incentive rate of 100 percent or $3,250.
— Zoning Review Fee, $45 paid on March 22, 2018; an incentive rate of 50 percent or $22.50.
— Building Permit, $720 paid on April 11, 2018; an incentive rate of 50 percent or $360.
— Business License 1, $1,060 paid on April 11, 2018; an incentive rate of 50 percent or $530.
101 W. Main Street Apartments and University Commons Apartments on Seigler Road were developed as housing for students attending USC Union.
OVA Properties, LLC, the owner of the University Commons Apartments property, requested similar incentives for University Commons Apartments, and council, at its June meeting approved first reading of an ordinance authorizing those incentives and then, at its July meeting, approved second and final reading of that ordinance.
While University Commons Apartments began housing USC Union students earlier this year, work on 101 W. Main Street Apartments was not completed until this month. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was held Thursday morning in celebration of its completion.
In other business, council voted unanimously to allocate $500 toward the purchase of equipment for the Union County Farm & Crafts Market.
The vote followed a presentation by Mayor Harold Thompson of a request from the “RobinHood Group” for $2,000 from the city for the purchase of “a SNAP/EBT (and credit card) machine and pay transaction fees, purchase two portable freezers and two portable refrigeration units for our protein, cheese and egg vendors. We will also use funds to cover fuel costs for the transport of senior throughout the county — our partnership with the Union County Department of Recreation to provide transportation to the Market on Wednesdays for seniors, disabled, and those without transportation in far areas of the county. We will also provide business development training and support to the farmers and artisans that want help sustaining and growing their businesses.”
Thompson’s presentation also included the market’s Mission Statement which stated that “the mission of the Union County Farm & Craft Market is to provide space for fresh fruit, vegetables and local goods to residents and visitors, to offer customers garden-fresh ‘farm to market’ foods; wholesome foods made with local ingredients and locally grown proteins.”
The presentation also included the market’s Vision Statement which stated that the market “is being developed to provide a cooperative and organized marketing alternative for small scale agricultural and specialty products. The Union County Farm & Craft Market promotes local production of agricultural and specialty products and offer opportunities for producers to reduce (health) food insecurity while enhancing the nutrition and cultural value in this food desert. The RobinHood Group strives to improve access to variety, taste and freshness of products available to customers in Union and neighboring counties.”
Council also voted unanimously Tuesday to allocate $6,500 to the Union County Chamber of Commerce for the development and acquisition of banners to be placed on Main Street.
In presenting the matter to council, Thompson said that, upon the request of himself and council, the research for banners for Main Street was placed in the hands of the chamber. Thompson pointed out that the chamber is responsible for the hanging baskets on Main Street and, as part of the city’s Main Street beautification program, he and council felt that banners should be included in the project as well.
The “Main Street Flag Project” will place banners on Main Street advertising Main Street Junction, the City of Union, the Union County Chamber of Commerce, USC Union and the USC Union Bantams, Spartanburg Community College and its Community Scholarship Program, Union County, the Union County Carnegie Library, the Union County Museum, as well as a banner wishing the public “Merry Christmas” from the City of Union.
Council also voted unanimously to award the bid for a “Class A Fire Apparatus” for the Union Public Safety Department to Kovatch Mobile Equipment (KME) for $319,200.
The awarding of the bid was recommended by Union Public Safety Director Sam White who said that KME offered the lowest bid.
In making the recommendation, White said that his department had “received a competitive grant through the South Carolina Department of Commerce under the State’s Community Development Block Grant program for the purchase of a Class A Fire Apparatus. This grant is administered by the Catawba Regional Council of Governments.”
White said that his department advertised for bids for the project through the South Carolina Business Opportunities website on Friday, May 18 of this year. He said three sealed bids were received by the city and were opened in a public setting on June 19. All the bids were checked by the Public Safety Department which White said determined that KME had met all the required specifications for the project.
Council also voted unanimously Tuesday to reappoint Mamie J. Holmes to the City of Union Municipal Election Commission.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.