Lincoln County Commissioners approved four industrial incentive grants at their meeting Monday night (April 5th) that will bring $32 million in industrial development and at least 66 new jobs to the county. John Dancoff, Existing Business Manager for the Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA), presented the requests.
The first of the approved grants will go to UNOX, a supplier of commercial cooking ovens for the commercial food industry. UNOX is located in the Airlie Industrial Park at 987 Airlie Parkway, Denver.
UNOX will be investing $3,226,250 in building expansion and new equipment at their existing location. They plan to add 27 new jobs over the next two years. In return, Lincoln County will provide $12,404.92 per year for five years in what amounts to rebates from additional county taxes they'll pay because of the expansion.
The second request from Spantek Expanded Metal, a Division of UMI Company, located at 352 North Generals Blvd. in Lincolnton, will provide that company with $6,154.73 per year for five years after the completion of their project to install a new state-of-the-art Expanded Metal production line. This new line will be similar to a line installed in 2016 and will double Spantek’s capacity in servicing an important growth market.
Spantek will add a minimum of four full-time career positions at their Lincolnton facility and expects additional support staff to be added as their market growth
continues to expand. Their proposed project will represent an investment of $1.8 million.
Cabinet hardware manufacturer Blum, Inc., whose US Headquarters is located on Old Plank Road just off NC16-business in southeastern Lincoln County, will be investing $23 million in infrastructure, state-of-the-art technology, and personnel over the next two years. The investments are a result of the company’s commitment to better serve customer needs. This investment will create at least 10 new jobs.
Blum's investments include various improvements in safety processes and protocols, adding further automation to their warehouse, IT equipment upgrades, further enhancements to production lines, and various machinery/equipment additions and upgrades. Blum will also invest in updating the layout and design of the administration building to provide more ergonomic solutions, as well as provide an overall healthier work environment.
“These investments in our facility and for our employees demonstrate our commitment to manufacturing in the US, as well as continuing to employ and support our local community,” said Shannon Lafferty, General Manager of Blum, Inc.
In return, Lincoln County will provide $83,743 per year in grants for seven years after the project's completion.
Blum was recently recognized as Lincoln County’s 2020 Industry of the Year.
The final request approved was for Husky Rack & Wire, located in the Airlie
Industrial Park in Denver. Husky Rack & Wire is a manufacturer of industrial pallet racks, wire security enclosures, and machine guarding.
Husky Rack & Wire will be investing $3.8 million in the expansion of their existing facility. The expansion will create at least 25 new jobs. Lincoln County will provide $17,071 per year in grants for five years.
Joe Lampron, LEDA Board Chair, noted the expansion of companies already operating here is important. “These companies have been a great asset to our county. LEDA is grateful they have decided to continue their success in Lincoln County and we are looking forward to working with them as they continue to grow.”
The way the Industrial Incentive Grants work is that when approved, the County agrees to return a certain portion (as specified in the grant) of additional taxes paid by the industries because of their increased property value due to the investments. No money is paid 'up front'--it is paid to the industries after they've paid their county taxes.
"We get more property value resulting in more money for the County in the future and in some cases, the investments also result in the creation of more jobs. It's a 'win-win' situation," said Commission Chair Carrol Mitchem.