County recruiting $38 million BMW investment

Charles Warner Editor

September 12, 2013

UNION COUNTY — Investments by BMW and “Project Modern” are the goal of two ordinances and a resolution approved by Union County Council.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to approve first reading of an ordinance that amends “certain fees and special source credit agreements.” Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said this is related to what he called “Project Modern” but would give no further details beyond saying that more information would be forthcoming in the future.

While the identity of Project Modern remains a mystery, the identity of the company covered by an ordinance and a resolution also approved by county council Tuesday afternoon is not. Council approved first reading of a fee agreement between the county and BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC and, a short time later, an inducement resolution with the company.

The resolution states that the county is recruiting a local investment by BMW “and/or one or more existing or to-be-formed subsidiaries or affiliates of the company” … “in the form of new and/or additional manufacturing equipment in the county.” It further states that in order to induce BMW to do this, council has committed to provide the company with a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement if the company makes the investment in the county.

If BMW does this, the resolution states that it “will represent an investment of approximately $38 million in new taxable investment.”

The resolution states the investment will take place between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2018.

Sinclair would say nothing more about the specifics of the proposed investment except that, as in the case of Project Modern, more information would be forthcoming in the future.

Even though he wouldn’t provide more information about Project Modern and the proposed BMW investment, Sinclair did say that they demonstrate the increasing success of Union County’s efforts to promote economic development.

“We are growing in Union,” Sinclair said. “We continue to set the environment for continued growth. Part of that is improving the workforce availability and part of it is continuing to improve the infrastructure such as the spec building we’re working on.”

Sinclair added that this was why he was willing to recommend to council that it reduce the increase in the county property tax levy approved Tuesday from 7.1 mills to 4.8 mills.

“I was comfortable reducing the tax increase because I’m very comfortable that future economic development will provide increased revenue,” Sinclair said.

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com.