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Nash County OKs economic incentives for $4.7M warehouse

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NASHVILLE — Nash County commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to approve a package of inducements to an unidentified company to build a $4.7 million facility in Rocky Mount.

Identified only by code name “Project Tire,” the company is considering a “new food storage/warehouse, distribution and transportation facility in an existing building located at 3051 N. Church St. in Rocky Mount,” according to the publicly released inducement agreement.

County Attorney Vince Durham said the company was using a code name because it had not yet decided to announce its decision. The county’s approval of the inducements was contingent on approval by the city of Rocky Mount, the Carolinas Gateway Partnership and the company.

Although the draft agreement was produced in negotiations with the company, Durham said after the meeting, “it’s not a done deal.”

Durham told commissioners the company is agreeing to a capital investment of $4.7 million and “place such real and personal property in service on the project site,” plus hire a total of 96 new permanent full-time employees over a period of three years at an “average annual wage of no less than $52,292.”

He said after the initial three-year period, the company would agree to maintain its commitments for an additional two years.

In return for the investment, the agreement calls for the city and county to rebate half the property taxes for each of the three years. The public-private Gateways Partnership would pay the company an inducement of three annual grants of $23,333.33 beginning March 15, 2021.

If the company fails to meets its investment and hiring goals during the first three years, according to the agreement, the rebates and grants will be reduced proportionately. If the company doesn’t maintain its agreement during the last two years, it will be assessed 10% of the inducements it received.

Before passing the agreement, commissioners held a required public hearing at which no one spoke. The agreement now goes to the other parties for approval, Durham said. No timetable was given to have the agreement finalized, though board Chairman Robbie Davis told fellow commissioners that details presented in closed session last week had not changed.

In other business Monday, the board formally approved the appointment of Commissioner Sue Leggett to the Nash Health Care Board of Commissioners, replacing former Commissioner Lisa Barnes, now a state legislator.

Commissioners Mary Wells and Dan Cone also agreed to serve on a county census committee, tasked with working on the 2020 census to ensure an accurate count.

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