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County could sweeten pot to lure new jobs

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners is set to take a look at a resolution that would amend the industrial incentives grant policy for the county, in hopes of improving its ability to recruit larger companies.
Commissioners will consider the proposal, which calls for adding a “Level IV” grant to the existing policy that would provide a 95-percent-of-taxes incentive for an industry’s first five years in the county, during their meeting Monday night.
Additionally, it would authorize a committee made up of members from both the county and the Lincoln Economic Development Association to negotiate other possible incentives “if the project brings substantial capital investment, jobs and, particularly, if the jobs are higher paying than normal,” County Manager George Wood said in a memo to commissioners.
“This should give us the added flexibility to better compete for these industries,” Wood also wrote.
As the Times-News previously reported, commissioners and LEDA board members first discussed creating an improved incentive package for larger capital and jobs-related industries to make the county more competitive during a joint session earlier this year.
The “Level IV” grant would apply to industries investing more than $25 million locally. Wood noted that LEDA’s board has approved the proposal.
Other items on Monday night’s agenda include:

  • A public hearing will be conducted for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) closeout.
  • The Lincoln County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LCLEPC) annual report will be presented.
  • Assistant County Manager Martha Lide will present a resolution to approve the merit pay increase policy and procedures for Lincoln County employees. Commissioners previously approved the pay raise for this fiscal year’s budget.
  • Commissioners will consider a resolution amending the county’s fire prevention code, fees and penalties schedule. They previously delayed taking action on the resolution to allow them more time to look it over.
  • Commissioners will revisit the revised ordinance requiring special events and mass gatherings to obtain permits. Having voted 4-1, with commissioner Carrol Mitchem in opposition, at their previous meeting, the ordinance failed to be enacted. However, only a majority vote will be required to approve the ordinance upon its second reading, according to state law.
  • Commissioners will consider a rezoning-fee refund request.
  • Commissioners will appoint a voting delegate for the annual meeting of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.
  • A closed session will be conducted “in order to preserve the attorney-client privilege” and “to instruct the public body’s staff or negotiating agents concerning the position to be taken by or on behalf of the public body in negotiating” on matters related to the acquisition of property or the amount of compensation of an employment contract, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center and is open to the public.

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