Project Renew, a partnership with the Development Authority and Shaw Industries Group, Inc., has the potential to bring in a total of 300 jobs.
The Shaw facility located at 1255 South Industrial Blvd. closed last spring due to the downturn in the economy, however the company has agreed to retool the facility with a $17 million investment. If the first phase of the Renew program is successful, the company would invest another $22 million and bring in an additional 125 new jobs.
The funds Shaw is putting into the project would go toward purchasing new equipment to make new products.
However, Shaw is asking for tax abatement in return for their investment and potential job creation.
“The company is investing a great deal in this project,” said Gordon County Chamber of Commerce President, Jimmy Phillips.
Phillips said the company approached the Development Authority this past summer to discuss what kind of tax incentives both the City of Calhoun and Gordon County could offer.
“Any company wants to know what are the incentives of picking your community,” said Phillips.
The county BOC has voted to allow for the property tax abatements, which would put a hold on any real or personal property taxes. Meaning, that for the next five years the company would not owe taxes on the land on which the facility sits, or any of the contents inside the facility.
However after five years, taxes would be paid back to the city and county.
There is also a claw back agreement, meaning if the company fails to live up to their end of the agreement, all of the taxes would be owed.
“We need jobs,” said Board of Commission Chairman, Alvin Long. “This (agreement) isn’t anything we can’t do, especially to bring in jobs and business in Gordon County. Getting people working is what we’ve got to do.”
Phillips also points out that Gordon County was moved to a Tier 2 county in the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) annual ranking of counties based on job rates. Gordon County is now eligible for an $8,000 tax credit per new job created. Shaw could benefit from the tax credit.
Phillips said that any company in Gordon County that will be creating two or more jobs is eligible for the tax credit.
A company wishing to apply must visit the DCA’s Web site at www.dca.ga.gov and download the forms, which are due back to the state by Fed. 15.
Now that the Development Authority has the city and county’s approval to move forward, the next step is approval of a bond resolution for no more than $39 million in bonds.
After that, sometime next month, a bond confirmation proceeding will take place in superior court. According to Bill Thompson, Development Authority attorney, this procedure requires District Attorney Joe Campbell to sue the Development Authority and Shaw in order to confirm the value of the bonds; the bonds are then advertised and a court hearing date is set to take place in front of a superior court judge. At this point, Thompson said, the public will have an opportunity to object to the bonds issued.
Additional reporting by Elizabeth Crumbly.