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CONBRACO $10.9 MILLION EXPANSION MOVING FORWARD

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Chesterfield County Council unanimously approved an ordinance at last Wednesday’s meeting that authorized a property tax incentive and infrastructure improvement package to aid Conbraco in its expansion of its distribution center in Pageland. This economic development is projected to create 62 jobs and $10.9 million of investment within five years, bringing the total employment of Conbraco’s Pageland facilities to about 300 jobs.

The tax incentive would establish a fee payment to the county in lieu of property taxes, the provision of revenue credits and other related matters in the joint industrial park with Lancaster County.

These incentives have become standard procedures by state and local governments to help convince private businesses, including Titan Stainless and Nestle Water, to locate to those government entities.

In addition to its distribution center, Conbraco, a privately-held company that was founded in 1928, operates a foundry and plant in Pageland that manufactures brass valves and fittings under the Apollo trademark. Headquartered in Matthews, N.C., the company has supplied product to 118 total projects worldwide in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

In other financial business, council also unanimously approved the perfunctory first readings of the 2016-17 budgets for the four rural fire departments and the 2016-17 general fund budget for operation of the county government.

The first readings of all budgets were duplicates of the current year’s financial plans that total $20.13 million, which includes the general fund ($16.5 million), all fire districts ($251,000), capital equipment ($890,000), grants ($62,000), E911 ($375,000), victims’ assistance ($48,000) and road maintenance ($2 million).

In related business, based on the recommendations of Public Works Director Tim Eubanks and Finance Director Michelle Stanley, with the concurrence of County Administrator Denise Douglass, council unanimously agreed to purchase two dump trucks from the Florence Truck Center totaling $339,400 and a roll-off truck from the Florence Truck Center for $192,778.

Council also approved the purchase of a new John Deere motor grader from Flint Equipment for a net cost of $57,811. The original purchase price of $239,436 was offset by a trade-in and buy-back.

Following a short executive session in which council discussed potential legal matters regarding Eagle Construction and the construction of the animal shelter, council took no action.

Prior to adjournment later that afternoon, council conducted a 2016-17 budget planning session where council heard financial presentations from the various departments for which council provides oversight, including elected positions such as sheriff and probate judge and appointed positions such as voter registration/elections and public works.

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