The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

January 9, 2013

Company receives incentive plan

By Brian Graves, Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 — A current Stanly County company is expanding and commissioners have agreed to incentives to make that expansion possible.

Carolina Paper Converters, Inc. (CPC) in Oakboro is planning to invest in a fully automated, high-speed converting machine.

According to the agreement approved Monday night, CPC will invest a minimum of $1 million in addition to the fiscal year 2012-2013 assessments.

CPC, which has been in Oakboro since 1999, will keep that minimum taxable investment for a least five years.

The company also agrees to partner with applicable agencies to apply for grants in order to successfully complete the project.

CPC also commits to employing the equivalent of eight, new full-time employees located in Stanly County.

“I believe this will help them further expand their operations,” said Stanly County Economic Director Paul Stratos. “They do meet the investment criteria for our property tax inducement program.”

Both the county and the Town of Oakboro are offering incentives that include allowing the company to offset additional investment in capital equipment, taxable business property and additional machinery and equipment in an amount equal to 50 percent of assessed value on the new investment over a five year period.

Commissioners took up another item in connection with Oakboro concerning the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

County Manager Andy Lucas said the county had received a communication from the town about the possibility of the county taking ownership of the town’s current wastewater treatment plant.

Oakboro would retain ownership of their sewer collection system under the proposal.

Lucas mentioned the recent economic study showing the county has some weaknesses with infrastructure, particularly in wastewater management.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for us to evaluate the potential of this,” Lucas said. “Certainly, it’s an asset that serves all of western Stanly County and not just one specific town, so it makes a lot of sense that a county or authority entity would manage an asset that benefits more than one municipality.”

The commission appointed Commissioners Josh Morton and Tony Dennis as a subcommittee to work with county staff as a study is performed by Chambers Engineering on the condition of the plant and a review of Oakboro’s audits concerning the plants operations.

Lucas said the actual study would probably take three months to gather all the necessary information before any serious discussions could take place about a transfer of ownership.

Getting up and down at the county courthouse will now mean going up with some spending for the county commission.

Commissioners approved spending $180,720 to modernize the two elevators at the courthouse.

The decision to completely overhaul the 43-year old system comes after an inspection showed one of the elevators was leaking hydraulic fluid.

Inspectors from Thyssen Krupp Elevator Americas sent Lucas a memo saying they were not able to visually determine the cause of the leak and said the unit had to be immediately taken out of service.

The inspectors also noted the second elevator contains the same type of cylinder as the first and it was “strongly recommended” that the cylinder on that elevator also be replaced.

Lucas told commissioners there were significant cost savings available if a complete upgrade could be in coordination with the repairs.

It is estimated to take up to four months to complete the modernization process.

Chairman Gene McIntyre pointed out it was expenses like this that make it necessary for the county to carry “a healthy fund balance.”

“That’s why we have it - in case of emergencies like this,” McIntyre said.

Commissioners also voted to bring up the proposed animal control ordinance again at the first meeting in February.

The board had sent the matter back to the Board of Health with the suggestion a citizen advisory committee be organized to further look into the matter.

Commissioner Peter Ascuitto said after meeting with the board, it was felt the board of health itself was the citizen board and asked that commission either pass the ordinance or give specific changes to be made.

The February meeting will have a public hearing in connection with the reviewing of the ordinance and how it will be handled or passed.