Expansion in Florence County to create 700 new jobs

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FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Florence County Council is moving forward with a multi-million dollar expansion project that will create more than 700 new jobs.

As of right now, the $79 million initiative is simply being called “Project Horseshoe.” According to county officials, the expansion is being done by an existing manufacturing company.

“We don’t to give anyone a reason not to do business here in Florence County. So if there is something we can do to assist them, particularly in existing business, we want to do it and we want to hear their proposal,” said Florence County Council Chairman Kent Caudle.

At Thursday’s county council meeting, the governing body passed a fee-in-lieu tax agreement with the developer.

“They essentially get a discount. Rather than 10 percent tax on their equipment, they get it at 6, so it’s a 40 percent discount on their equipment, which is substantial,” Caudle said.

As for the 700 new jobs, Caudle said they will happen over the course of the first year and not overnight.

“We are patient and we appreciate their confidence in Florence, the people in Florence, Florence County, the cities, towns and municipalities. When an existing industry chooses to expand, we think that speaks volumes about the area,” Caudle said.

The recruiting for the new jobs will happen throughout the Pee Dee.

“I’m sure they’ll use some of the local schools, tech schools and high schools to recruit the staffing and services, things like that,” Caudle said.

Project Horseshoe comes after other economic growth in the county as well. Caudle pointed out that GE, McCall farms, Ingram Lumber Company and Honda all chose local expansion.

The $79 million is a big tax revenue as well for the county, but there are some stipulations.

“We have a clause back cause, so if they don’t meet certain employment numbers or investments, they actually give the county a refund for that. (Of) course we certainly hope they succeed those expectations,” Caudle said.

The council must pass three readings before the project is official. The next one will take place during the county council meeting in June.

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