Council approves Spinrite grant planPublished 9:19pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Washington’s City Council gave its approval for Spinrite to use the city as a go-between in seeking a $440,000 grant to expand its presence at the National Spinning complex, where it rents space.
The council voted unanimously (4-0) to authorize the mayor to sign a resolution authorizing the submission of an application seeking the grant funds. Councilman Edward Moultrie Jr. was absent from the meeting.
The expansion would encompass acquiring an additional square footage in the National Spinning complex, with Spinrite going from about 220,000 square feet to 330,000 square feet. 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 last week.
Under terms of another grant, Spinrite was required to create 60 jobs.
“The total as this point that Spinrite would be creating would be in the neighborhood of 95 to 100 jobs, including that initial 60,” Kay told the council.
Councilman Doug Mercer offered an amendment (which was accepted) to the motion authorizing the city’s involvement with the grant process to include a contract that requires Spinrite to meet specific performance standards. That contract would create 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 grant must be paid back to the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, which would award the grant if it’s approved.
“All I want to say is if the City Council hadn’t stepped up (last year) to save the jobs that were there, this wouldn’t have possibly come up. Am I correct?” Councilman Richard Brooks said.
“That’s correct,” replied Mayor Archie Jennings.
“Without the risk of sounding preachy or whatever, this is just another example of how this council works together. We are a community-driven council, and it is the will of the community back to work,” council member William Pitt said.
Before the council acted on the grant matter, Lloyd May voiced some concerns over it.
“What are the numbers of people — jobs added, saved — for the two grants together, pending the performance measurements are met?” he asked.
May asked if the city had examined the financial records to determine if Spinrite is a viable investment for public money. May also wondered why there were three different Spinrite entities — Spinrite Inc., Spinrite Services Inc. and Spinrite Acquisitions — mentioned in the grant paperwork. He asked about National Spinning’s relationship to those three entities.
“They’re asking for a loan. This isn’t just the city’s money. This is the state’s money. We do have some skin in it since we’ve already put money in it from the first grant,” May said. “So, what is the collateral behind the loan? … I don’t which company we’re having the agreement with.”