The economic development future of Kershaw County apparently continues to improve, as the agenda for Tuesday’s Kershaw County Council meeting includes a closed-door executive session to discuss an item being referred to at this time only as “Project Stagecoach,” which is to include an investment of at least $88 million. A resolution and first reading of an ordinance are also listed.
Just as with the recently announced $72 million expansion at Haier America was known only as “Project Picture” for several weeks before the company name was revealed, council will consider offering Project Stagecoach a “fee-in-lieu-of taxes” agreement to the company, guaranteeing the company a set fee to be paid to the county regardless of fluctuations in tax millage or property value assessment.
“Once again, this is cause for confidence in Kershaw County that we can invest in ourselves and deliver on economic development. Although it’s not yet official, I again extend my congratulations to our economic development team of (Kershaw County Administrator) Vic Carpenter and (Kershaw County Economic Development Director) Peggy McLean,” Burns said. “This is an encouraging step along the way to insuring economic vitality for our county.”
A public hearing and vote on third and final reading of an ordinance on Project Picture (Haier) are also on Tuesday’s agenda.
Also on the subject of economic development, Councilman Jimmy Jones will present a plan he says is an alternative to a general obligation bond proposal to raise as much as $15 million to improve the infrastructure at the county’s industrial parks, including spec buildings which could attract new business to the county. Council discussed the matter at its last two meetings, Aug. 11 and 25. Carpenter said Kershaw County lags behind neighboring counties that have industrial sites near completion, making it easier for potential industries to envision being there. Jones said his plan is an alternative to the issuance of bonds and would use money from the county’s reserve fund, meaning no tax increases would be needed to pay back the bonds.
A continuation of the discussion of financing economic development is also on the agenda under old business.
In other business, council will consider a resolution to establish guidelines regarding hanging portraits of long-serving council members in the council chamber. The proposal is to have portraits honor anyone who has served on council 20 or more years in consecutive or non-consecutive terms. It also provides exemptions for any former councilmen convicted of a felony or “involved in any action that brings discredit to the citizens of Kershaw County.”
Tuesday’s meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in council’s chamber at the Kershaw County Government Center, 515 Walnut St., Camden, and is open to the public.