City approves incentives for two companiesThe MessengerBy Andy Matthews
What a difference a few weeks and even fewer public incentives makes.
Last month, Paul Eich, a mayoral candidate, spoke against the use of public incentives to help lure a new company that would create 45 new jobs in Mount Airy. Eich and a handful of other critics complained that the city wasn’t being transparent in the economic development process and that the proposed $472,178 in incentives was a risky investment.
Mount Airy commissioners, saying the incentives were needed to convince the company to locate here, unanimously approved the proposal.
On Thursday night, Eich came to the podium again to speak on public incentives for two other companies looking to create a combined 251 jobs in Mount Airy. This time, Eich spoke in favor of the incentive package.
“These two incentives are significantly lower than the ones two weeks ago,” Eich said. “I remain opposed to incentives, but I understand that we need to play the game, unfortunately. These are reasonable costs and we’re using existing buildings. This is vital to the health of our community. Empty buildings hurt communities. These incentives do make sense and I support them.”
Eich followed two other mayoral candidates, Teresa Lewis and Gene Clark, both of whom said they also favor financial incentives for the two companies. One business, which expects to create 221 new jobs, is eligible for an incentive not to exceed $57,907 over a five-year period. A second company, which would generate 30 new jobs, is eligible for incentives ranging from $19,000 to $77,200 also over a five-year period. The money for both companies is based on property tax rebates and the value of personal property and machinery the company adds to the local tax base.
Together, the two companies could create a $4-7 million investment in the community. Full Story Link.