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April 21, 2014

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County to pay spec building loan - will be repaid after sale

Published: 9:58 AM, 12/24/2012 Last updated: 10:00 AM, 12/24/2012
 


Source: The Rogersville Review

By Bill Grubb
News Editor

ROGERSVILLE — Although it does not have an occupant, yet, the county's vacant speculative building is a benefit to the county, according to those trying to woe new jobs to the county
    At the December 17 meeting, Hawkins County Commissioners agreed to begin paying approximately $4,750 in interest and principal monthly on a $700,000 loan for the building.
    The structure, located in the Phipps Bend Industrial Park, contains approximately 67,500 square feet of floor space and an additional 3,100 square feet of office space an is located on 8.3 acres.
    Prior to voting for the county to become a guarantor for the loan used to build the structure, along with a $600,000 grant, Commissioner Jeff Barrett asked if there “was any benefit to the taxpayers of Hawkins County.”
    Industrial Developer Lynn Lawson and Industrial Board Chairman Larry Elkins said the availability of a vacant building is a valuable recruitment tool and used local industry Sam Dong as an example.
    “The (Sam Dong) moved here because of an existing building. That's why they're here,” Elkins said.
    In 2007, the South Korean firm purchased the vacant Assured Castings building in the Rogersville Industrial Park.  Now the employer has outgrown that location and has a second facility on Thorpe's Chapel Road.  Lawson said the industry has meant jobs for county residents and new money for the county.
    “They are pumping about $5 million in salaries into Hawkins County, not counting what they are paying in taxes,” Lawson explained.
    The developer added that “the future of the county” will be industrial growth.
    Elkins explained that almost half of the construction cost for the spec building was paid for with grant funds “that didn't cost the county anything.”
    “We borrowed the $700,000 at 2.67 percent and the interest rate hasn't changed.  The county has not paid one red cent, so far, on this facility,” Elkins added.  “All this money has been paid by the Industrial Board.”
    The chairman also noted that through previous resolutions approving and extending the loan the county has obligations regarding the loan.
    “This building belongs to Hawkins County and you've got to pay for it,” Elkins added, saying the building acts as a lure for prospects. “One way to look at it is if you are selling used cars you've got to have something on the lot for them to look at.”  
    Elkins also said the building as “proven to be a winner,” adding that a Chinese firm has been considering the county as a possible site for a new facility because of the spec building.
    “We've got to have jobs for our young people and this is the best way to do it, bring a new industry in.  I would encourage you to keep supporting this thing.  We'll get it sold and you will get every red cent back on his thing.     
    In other business, the commission:        
    •  Approved the appointment of Tony Burchfield, Terry Glass, Danny Cockreham, Tommy Young and Elkins to six-year terms on the Hawkins County Industrial Board;
    •  Tabled a resolution concerning the adoption of policies and procedures for the county to use when buying property at an auction;
    •  Approved the lease of a new telephone system for all county offices;
    •  Adopted of a permit fee schedule for certain types of inspections or grading required in designated stormwater areas in the county;  and
    •  Approved several budget amendments, including a $500 bonus for the Hawkins County School System's  full-time employees.
    

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