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KCC passes FILOT for local company

Posted: February 16, 2017 6:12 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council unanimously passed a Fee-In Lieu-Of-Taxes agreement for for RJR Land Group LLC, most recently referred to by county officials as “Project Local,” during its meeting Tuesday.

The FILOT provides for a 6 percent assessment for the next five years. In return, the company will provide at least $2.5 million in capital investment over the next five years.  

RJR Land Group LLC is known locally as Roy’s Wood Products, a Lugoff-based, company that manufactures custom cabinet doors and wood products for kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well as custom trim work for residential and commercial construction. The company plans to build a new 80,000 square foot facility on 14 acres in Heritage Pointe Industrial Park in Lugoff. The new facility will include manufacturing, warehouse, showroom and headquarters as well as new production machinery and equipment.

“Our heart as a company and as a family is Kershaw County,” Jody Brazell said. The Brazell family has owned and operated the company for about 50 years and three generations.  “This expansion is a win-win for our business and our community.”

Roy Brazell expressed appreciation for the county’s efforts in working with the company to make the expansion happen.

Kershaw County Council Chairman Julian Burns said the county is interested in and dedicated to helping local industries thrive and grow. In fact, Roy’s Wood Products is the second locally owned industry to qualify for a FILOT agreement with the county, Burns noted.

“Indeed it is a great day in Kershaw County,” Burns said. “To watch this company grow from a small operation out of the family’s garage to expanding its headquarters shows that what we are doing to support industry in Kershaw County is working.”

Councilman Jimmy Jones congratulated the Brazells and thanked them for their contributions to the Kershaw County community over the years.

Other business discussed:

* Council passed a resolution supporting the development of a master plan for the U.S. 521/Black River corridor in Kershaw County.  The resolution essentially gives county staff approval to work with other entities such as the city of Camden, Santee-Lynches Council of Governments, Kershaw County School District, Central Carolina Technical College, area businesses and industries and other stakeholders to develop the plan.  

County Administrator Vic Carpenter said this initiative came about after concerns were raised in 2016 over plans by the SC Dept. of Transportation to make changes to the intersection of Century Boulevard and U.S. 521.  Area stakeholders were concerned that SCDOT had not sufficiently planned for future growth in the area. SCDOT agreed to postpone doing anything at that intersection until the local stakeholders could present the department with more detailed information about the area as well as a detailed plan to accommodate future growth. 

The planning process and the plan itself is going to take time and money, Carpenter noted. However, not only is the area poised for significant growth in the near future -- a hotel, at least two restaurants and a truck stop as well as the new Applied Technical Education Campus (ATEC) and other facilities expansions at the Central Carolina Technical College Campus are already in the process of being built at that Century Boulevard intersection area -- but the entire Black River Road area is an important industrial corridor.

* Council heard an update from Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews regarding a recent resurgence of what appears to be increasing gang activity in Kershaw County. Matthews reported to council that KCSO has arrested a number of young males for a wide variety of criminal charges in recent months; several of them are known to be affiliated with criminal gangs. 

* John Henderson, Risk Management Director for the South Carolina Association of Counties, presented two awards to Kershaw County, an Outstanding Safety Achievement Award and a Service Award. 

* Council heard an update regarding tourism and tourism development initiatives in the county from Camden/Kershaw County Tourism Development Director Suzi Sale.

* Council gave third reading and final approval of a request to rezone 15.35 acres located on Hwy 1 North in Cassatt from RD-2 (Rural Resource District) to GD (General Development) as well as third reading and final approval of a request to rezone 4.94 acres near Heath Pond Road in Elgin from R-15 (Residential) to B-2 (Business).  Council also passed third and final reading of an amendment to the ordinance regarding solicitation of funds from motorists.

* Council went into executive session to discuss the County Administrator’s contract. When they returned to regular session, they voted unanimously to grant the county administrator a 3 percent raise, which is in line with the 3 percent raises council granted to all employees during the 2016-17 FY budget cycle.

Kershaw County Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 in council chambers at the County Government Center, 515 Walnut St., Camden. Meetings are open to the public.


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