UNION — During Tuesday’s meeting of the Union City Council, the first reading of an ordinance to waive an annexation ordinance for Gonvauto South Carolina, LLC was unanimously approved.
Gonvauto South Carolina, LLC is currently constructing a metal fabrication manufacturing facility in Union County, and will invest at least $35 million within the first five years and a total of $50 million within 10 years, ending up with 65 full-time jobs at the facility.
Before council voted on the matter, Joe Nichols spoke as chair of the Union County Economic Development Board. Nichols said the facility will hopefully be in operation this May.
“As board chair, I feel Gonvauto will further expansions, and actually, they have already expanded,” Nichols said.
Nichols also mentioned that the city approved such an annexation waiver for both ESAB and Gestamp in the past.
“With that type of investment in the county, it follows suit with what we’ve done in the past,” Nichols said.
Under the city’s Annexation Ordinance, undeveloped and developed properties that are contiguous to the city are subject to immediate annexation; similarly, undeveloped and developed properties that are non-contiguous to the city are subject to annexation upon becoming contiguous to the city. Council member Jim Wilson pointed out that there is currently no indication that Gonvauto will become contiguous to the city.
Other business at last night’s city council meeting included the following:
- Council unanimously voted to authorize Mayor Harold Thompson to execute a resolution which would allow the city to apply for grant funding through the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, which is a new state agency. The city will apply for $350,000 grant for the Industrial Park Road Sewer Outfall Project. Matching funds required will be approximately $120,860 to be funded by the utility fund.
- Council awarded a bid of $121,903 for a knuckleboom truck to Public Works Equipment. The truck will have a Nu-Life loader and a Ford F-750 chassis. With its 2000 model truck in the shop, the city is currently using a 1990 model, which is a back-up. With the purchase of the new truck, the 1990 model will go to auction.
- Council unanimously voted to renew the release of Community Change funds to assist City Utility customers with heating and cooling costs. The Community Change program began in 1993 as a way of generating funds to assist in providing food and shelter to the needy. The program eventually transformed into one of heating (electric and gas) and cooling (electric only) assistance. In fiscal year 2012, the program generated $21,699.90 and assisted 118 customers in the amount of $11,402.71. No customer will receive more than $100 per season. Customers are approved for assistance by The Salvation Army and Carolina Community Actions. Participation in the program is voluntary for City Utility customers.
- Council unanimously voted to appoint George Ashmore — the sole applicant — to the vacancy on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Ashmore has served several terms as chairman of the board.
- Council unanimously voted to support the USC Union Upcountry Literary Festival with a donation of $500. This year’s festival will be held March 22-23 at the university.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at email@example.com.