County recruiting $2.5 million Sonoco investment

Charles Warner Editor

November 14, 2013

UNION COUNTY — New and continuing investments in the county by Sonoco, Milliken & Company, and “Project Modern” are the goals of ordinances and resolutions approved by Union County Council this week.

Sonoco Plastics

Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution authorizing an inducement agreement between the county and Sonoco Plastics. The agreement states that, under certain conditions, the county will enter into a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement with the company “with respect to investment in industrial facilties” in Union County.

Approval of the resolution was followed by council voting unanimously to approve first reading of an ordinance authorizing the fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement. The agreement will enable Sonoco to pay a lower tax rate on its investment for the duration of the agreement.

The resolution states that Sonoco has requested the county provide the agreements to “assist it in the acquisition, construction, and installation of buildings, improvements, fixtures, machinery, equipment, furnishings and other real and/or tangible personal property to constitute additional investment in the company’s manufacturing facilities” in Union County. It further states that this will result in a “fully taxable investment” of at least $2.5 million by Dec. 31, 2018.

Milliken & Co.

Council also voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing a second amendment to a 1998 lease purchase agreement and first amendment to a 1998 inducement and millage rate agreement between the county and Milliken & Company.

The resolution states that the county and Milliken entered into the inducement and millage rate agreement on Aug. 12, 1998 and the lease purchase agreement on Oct. 10, 1998. It states the lease purchase agreement was first amended on Nov. 12, 2003.

Milliken is applying to the county asking that both agreements “be amended to extend the length and term … for an additional 10 years.”

By approving the resolution, council approved the company’s request for the extension of the agreements.

In a related matter, council also voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing a first amendment to 2008 fee agreement between the county and Milliken.

The resolution states that under state law the county has the authority to “enter into fee agreements with industries in connection with the acquisition and enlargement of industrial enterprises within the state.”

It further states that Milliken “has determined that it desires to expand and improve certain of its existing facilities and capabilities by the acquisition, installation, and construction of textile and chemical manufacturing machinery and improvements.”

Milliken is asking the county to amend the 2008 fee agreement to extend the project period for an additional five years and to extend the length of the fee agreement for an additional 10 years.

Project Modern

Council also voted unanimously to approve second reading of an ordinance providing “certain fees and special source credit agreements” to an entity currently designated as “Project Modern.”

As he did when first reading of the ordinance was approved earlier this year, Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair declined to provide further details about or reveal the identity of Project Modern. He did, however, say that the ordinance, along with the Milliken and Sonoco ordinances and resolutions, are part of council’s efforts to facilitate what he said is a bright economic future for Union County.

“We have a bright future, we’ve just got to keep our eyes on the prize,” Sinclair said. “We’ve got to look out for the good of the whole rather than the individual or group self-interest.”

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