Pacific Seacraft’s project progresses

Published 5:28 am Monday, October 20, 2008

By By MIKE VOSS Contributing Editor
Washington’s City Council, during its meeting today, is expected to adopt a budget ordinance amendment to provide funds for the renovation of a warehouse for use by Pacific Seacraft.
The amendment reflects a $200,000 grant for the renovation project. Previously, the city agreed to help Pacific Seacraft apply for a $200,000 grant from the Rural Economic Development Center. In August, Reid Brodie, who along with his father Stephen Brodie, bought Pacific Seacraft at a federal bankruptcy auction in October 2007, asked the city to help the company apply for the grant.
The money is coming from the Rural Center’s building reuse and restoration grants program, which is designed to spur economic activity and job creation by assisting in the productive reuse of vacant buildings in small towns.
At that August meeting, the council authorized the city to enter into a loan/performance agreement with Pacific Seacraft as part of a sub-recipient agreement. The performance agreement calls for the creation of 25 jobs within 24 months. The clock started ticking July 1, according to Roberson. The agreement also sets up a “repayment” schedule if Pacific Seacraft does not meet conditions of the grant agreement.
A promissory note requires Pacific Seacraft to pay the city up to $200,000 if Pacific Seacraft defaults on the loan/performance agreement.
Unlike other similar agreements with other companies, the city is not liable for reimbursing the Rural Center if Pacific Seacraft does not meet the agreement conditions, according to city officials.
The money earmarked for Pacific Seacraft will be used to modify a 40,000-square-foot segment of the National Spinning complex in Washington, according to a previous memorandum from Roberson to the mayor and council. The areas being leased by Pacific Seacraft were built in 1966 and 1986. They have been vacant for more than 10 years.
The grant conditions require a cash match equal to the amount of the funding from the Rural Center, with 3 percent ($6,000) of that match provided by the city. The remaining match amount may come from public or private sources, or both.
Earlier this year, the Rural Center announced Pacific Seacraft was the recipient of a $350,000 venture-capital loan to purchase property and cover construction and equipment costs.
Pacific Seacraft joins an expanding boating industry in Beaufort County.
Fountain Powerboats recently built its first Baja boat at its Chocowinity plant. The company recently acquired the Baja line.
In recent years, Brooks Boatworks and Egret Boats have moved into the Beaufort County Industrial Park. Park Boat Co., a retailer of boats, has moved into a larger building.
The City Council meets at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building at 102 E. Second St.