Archived Story

Incentives, grants parts of Blue Goose development

Published 9:28pm Wednesday, February 27, 2013

As part of the incentives package to bring a new industry to Beaufort County and expand an existing one, the county will transfer ownership of some land at the Beaufort County Industrial Park to Project Blue Goose developers.
The 5.78 acres, valued at $86,790, are known as Parcel 8 at the industrial park, which the county and City of Washington own. Project Blue Goose is composed of two entities: Pronamics Industries and Oak Ridge Metal Works. Pronamics Industries will be setting up operations in the Quick Start II building, known as the Blue Goose because of its exterior paint scheme. Oak Ridge Metal Works is expanding into the former Brooks Boatworks building at the industrial park.
Commissioner Ed Booth, who said he had “cold feet” concerning Project Blue Goose over the past several months, voted against transferring the land from the county to Project Blue Goose.
“I don’t mean to be so inquisitive today, but I always had cold feet about this deal,” Booth said during the commissioners’ meeting Monday.
Booth asked if there was anything in the property-transfer agreement to prevent Project Blue Goose from selling the property after acquiring it.
Bob Heuts, the county’s economic developer, said the county could put conditions regarding any future sale of the property in the buy-sell agreement that will come before the commissioners at a future meeting. Also, the deed for the property will include restrictive covenants already in place at the industrial park, Heuts said.
Project Blue Goose will not write a check for the property, Huets said. Instead, the county expects to receive enough revenue from Project Blue Goose over the next 10 years to more than cover the property’s current fair-market value of $86,790, he said.
“Let me be real clear about this. We’re talking about giving them the property,” Heuts said. “We’re giving them the property because we expect investment on that property as part of the larger project over the 10-year period to at least cover the $86,790.”
Commissioner Hood Richardson weighed in on the transfer of ownership of the property from the county to Project Blue Goose.
“So, we’re really not giving it in the sense that it’s that free. We’re just not getting revenue out of it, but we’re taking a credit against another obligation that we have. So, in that sense, we’re getting a benefit in addition to the economic-development benefit,
Earlier this week, the county and city approved incentives in the form of partial rebates on real-estate and machinery taxes during a five-year period. The incentives total $200,196 during that period, with the county’s incentive at $103,013, and the city’s incentive at $97,183.
Booth joined the other commissioners in approving the incentives.
The county’s $103,013 incentive is based on 50-percent rebates of the aforementioned taxes, with $51,609 of the rebate coming from real estate-tax revenues and $51,405 coming from machinery-tax revenues. The city’s $97,183 incentive comes from 50-percent rebates on the two taxes, with $48,688 coming from property-tax revenues and $48,495 coming from machinery-tax revenues. The rebates would be paid in declining amounts in each year of the five-year period.
The project calls for creating up to 100 jobs during the five-year period, 35 jobs at Oak Ridge Metal Works and 65 jobs at Pronamics Industries.
Project Blue Goose is expected to result in at least at $9.4 million investments, with $2 million invested in building, $2.1 million in retrofitting the property and $5.3 million in machinery.
The following are requirements that must be met during the first two years of operations, with those requirements incorporated into final agreements between the two local governments and company:
• Project Blue Goose must begin operations this year;
• Project Blue Goose must create at least 52 jobs within a three-year period;
• The median average wage paid by Project Blue Goose must be at or above the median average wage in Beaufort County, unless the company receives a wage waiver from the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Incentives Summary

  • One NC Fund, $S150,000
  • Community Development Block Grant (Pronamics), $750,000
  • CDBG (Oak Ridge Metal Works), $320,000
  • City of Washington incentive, $97,183
  • Beaufort County incentive, $103,013
  • Training services (52 jobs at $1,200 per job), 62,400
  • Recruitment and screening services for employees, to be determined.
  • Total of grants and loans, $1.482,596.

 Source: Beaufort County

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