UNION COUNTY — Union County moved a step closer to realizing a return on its investment in the county spec building after Union County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to sell the facility for over $1.5 million.
Council voted to approve third and final reading of an ordinance authorizing the sale of the spec building to Agracel Inc. of Effingham, Illinois.
Located at 2 LSP Drive in the Union Commerce Park off US 176, the site includes the 60,000 square foot building itself, an adjacent 60,000 square-foot building pad, and an additional 45,000 square feet of open land. The pad and the additional land are there to accommodate any potential industrial expansion that may occur.
While the property has all the necessary utilities including power, water, sewer, and gas for industrial development and ready access to US 176, the spec building itself is currently an empty shell with a dirt floor. Supervisor Frank Hart said the building’s current condition makes it easier for Agracel to develop the facility as it sees fit.
The county developed the property with financing obtained through a loan from Santee Cooper. Under the terms of the loan, the county could borrow up to $2.5 million, but the county only spent $1,809,475.56 on the project.
Agracel is buying the spec building from the county for $1,528,890 or $280,585.56 less than the county spent to build it.
Hart, however, said earlier this month that even though the price being paid by Agracel is less than what the county paid for the spec building the county will nevertheless recoup its investment and will actually clear nearly $70,000. He said the county received a $350,000 RIF grant from the state for the spec building project. The grant does not have to be repaid and Hart said that when it is factored in the county not only recouped its investment, it actually cleared $69,414.44. Hart said those funds will go into the county’s Economic Development Fund.
When the sale of the spec building was first announce, Hart said that it is part of the county’s strategy of getting the site ready for industrial development. Agracel, which was founded in 1986, specializes in up-fitting buildings for manufacturing and has developed over 12 million square feet of industrial space in 17 states.
In other business, council voted to allocate funds to purchase body cameras for the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
The body cameras were requested by Sheriff David Taylor who addressed council about his office’s need for the devices.
Hart said the county will purchase 18 body cameras for $17,463. He said the county’s cost should be reimbursed by the state.
Council also voted to purchase a van for the Union County Carnegie Library.
The van was requested by Library Director Rieta Drinkwine who said it would be used for the library’s outreach efforts in the outlying areas of the county.
Hart said the county will spend $7,400 to purchase a used van from state surplus.
Council also voted to allocate funds to help the Public Defenders Office hire an investigator.
Hart said that the Public Defenders Office had been allocated $39,000 from the state to hire an investigator with the county agreeing to provide funds to match that allocation. He said that the county’s allocation will be between $15,280 and $21,397 depending on the type of insurance — single or family — the new employee gets.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.