New bill could bring jobs to Stanly

Published 5:26 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

A state economic incentives bill recently passed by the legislature and waiting for the Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature may help bring a large number of jobs to Stanly County.

If signed, the bill would create a new jobs incentive for a heritage manufacturing employer, that’s specifically tailored to fit a business long rumored to be relocating to Stanly County.

The two entities that this bill appears to place in an economic incentivized marriage is Charlotte Pipe and Foundry and Stanly County.

The bill would allow the business to qualify for the state’s Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund. It would apply to a company that has been operating in the state for more than 100 years, has invested at least $325 million, has at least 1,050 state employees and plans to relocate at least 400 employees to a Tier Two county with a population smaller than 63,000.

The county that seems to align with the bill’s specifications is Stanly County, which has roughly 62,000 people, according a July 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. Stanly is also classified as a Tier Two county.

Stanly County Manager Andy Lucas and Oakboro Town Administrator Doug Burgess both declined to comment, but Burgess did say a press release about this issue would come out in the coming weeks.

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry occupies about 55 acres a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte, according to an April story in The Charlotte Observer.

“No decisions have been made about whether to build a new facility or not,” company spokesman Brad Muller told the Stanly News and Press. He added that the company is still studying the issue.

The bill was introduced in the House by N.C. Rep. Wayne Sasser (R-Stanly) and passed 114-2 last week.

This wasn’t the first time the company thought about moving.

According to The Observer, in 2008 the Rocky Mount-based Golden LEAF Foundation approved a $2.5 million grant to help Stanly land the business. A year later, Stanly officials approved the rezoning of about 40 acres owned by the company for industrial use.

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company is the nation’s top maker of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings, according to its website.

The company currently employs about 1,488 employees at seven U.S. plants, including 474 at the cast-iron pipe plant in uptown Charlotte, according to a 2018 article in the Charlotte Business Journal.

The company has annual revenues totaling more than $500 million.

The company was founded in 1901 by W. Frank Dowd, who recognizing the need for plumbing pipe in the South. He built a small foundry shop in Charlotte to produce cast iron soil pipe and fittings, according to the company’s website. The original company employed only 25 people.

In 1967, the company opened the Plastics Division in Monroe to produce plumbing pipe and fittings for drain, waste and vent (DWV) applications and in 1992 they created the Industrial Plastics Division to supply pipe and fittings for industrial applications.

The company has also produced pipe and fitting for hot and cold water distribution systems, chemical waste applications and has recently produced pipes that use recycled content.

Today, the company is the largest manufacturer of DWV pipe and fittings in the country with satellite pipe plants all around the country and it operates one of the largest fittings facilities in the world.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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