Archived Story

Spinrite seeks to expand

Published 8:58pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

During its meeting Monday, the City Council will consider a resolution authorizing submitting an application for a grant to help expand the Spinrite operation at the National Spinning plant in Washington.

The expansion would encompass acquiring an additional square footage in the National Spinning complex, James Chesnutt, National Spinning’s chief executive. For that expansion to take place, renovations of the National Spinning building are required.

That expansion would result in about 10 to 15 new jobs, City Manager Josh Kay said Thursday.

Councilman Bobby Roberson said he favors Spinrite going after the grant, adding that he usually support public-private partnerships that would produce more jobs.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us. Anytime you’re increasing jobs with the economic situation we’ve got, it’s a great opportunity to expand our job creation and in addition to that it keeps jobs in Beaufort County. I definitely would be for the grant,” Roberson said Thursday.

“Assuming everything works out, when all is said and done, Spinrite is going to take a little over a 100,000 square feet of additional space. … When all is said and done, they will have around 88 permanent jobs there and 15 to 20 temporary jobs,” Chesnutt said Thursday.

Spinrite and National Spinning have approached the city about seeking a N.C. Rural Economic Development Center building reuse and restoration grant in an amount up to

$500,000. The grant, if awarded, requires a 5-percent “match.” National Spinning has agreed to transfer that match to the city, according to the tentative agenda.

If awarded, the grant will become a performance loan (like the one associated with the Weir Valve and Controls retrofit project) that will require the creation of a specified number of jobs over a specified period of time or the money must be paid back to the N.C. Rural Center, according to the agenda.

Last May, the council approved agreements regarding a grant to help Weir Valves and Controls retrofit its facilities, a move that should create jobs.

The $410,000 grant passing from the state though the city to Weir Valves is expected to help create 82 new jobs by fall of this year.

The grant comes from the N.C. Rural Center. It will be used to improve the building housing Weir Valves and Controls, which is at 339 Old Bath Highway. The improvements will accommodate production of new high-pressure flow equipment for the oil and gas industry, according to the Rural Center.

The city provided a 5-percent ($20,500) contribution (match) for that project, which carries an overall cost of $999,977, according to the center.

Weir Valves had a baseline employment of 66 workers last spring. To meet the requirements of the grant, Weir Valves will have to maintain those 66 jobs and add 82 other jobs, said Matt Ehlers, a Rural Center spokesman. The new jobs will have to be maintained for at least six consecutive months, he said.

The new jobs are projected to provide an average annual salary of $40,965 (per employee), plus benefits. If the company does not meet the job requirement, it will have to pay back money for each position it failed to create.




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