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City, county raise incentive for expanding business

A larger investment is prompting a larger tax incentive from both Albemarle City Council and county commissioners.

Back in July, the two entities offered an unnamed manufacturing company dubbed Project Steel a tax incentive valued at about $146,200 to expand its operations in Albemarle.

This month, that incentive was raised to more than $200,000.

“Mostly because the company has increased its planned investment into the city,” Albemarle Economic Development Director Mark Donham said.

Where before Project Steel was planning to invest about $3.8 million into its existing facility over the next eight years, the company is now looking at a $4.3 million investment.

The city and county’s incentive program would reimburse them for 75 percent of the property taxes on any new investment over that eight-year period.

Project Steel is a nationwide company, they explained. Currently going through consolidation, the company needs to condense operations and must decide where to focus its attention. Albemarle is one of its options, but several states are being considered, as well.

If they do decide to focus on Albemarle, though, the facility there would need to be expanded to handle a new product line.

Not only would this represent $4.3 million in capital investment, but also the addition of 44 new jobs.

“We are trying to not only maintain the business we have, but also obtain that expansion,” said Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael when the incentive was proposed in July. “If they choose to bring those other jobs from other states into here, that what we’d want them to do.”