City to assist with Project Montenegro

The City of Union is doing its part to bring Project Montenegro to Union County.

Union City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve two resolutions and first reading of two ordinances regarding Project Montenegro, the name given the company or industry considering locating in Union County. The first resolution authorized the city to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Union County under which the city would reimburse the county $400,000 or 50 percent of the cost of the land it purchases as part of the project. The agreement also authorizes the city to reimburse the county for 50 percent all other costs it incurs in the acquisition of the property including surveys, environmental work, title work and premiums, recording costs and legal fees.

The intergovernmental agreement also authorizes the city to reimburse the county $50,000 or 50 percent of the $100,000 infrastructure grant Project Montenegro will receive from the County Development Fund.

The first of the two ordinances approved by council Monday morning allocates the reimbursement monies from the city’s general fund balance.

The second resolution authorizes the city to enter into memorandum of understanding with Project Montenegro regarding the provision of water, sewer and natural gas to the company. Under the terms of the memorandum, Project Montenegro — which will be located outside the city — will pay the lower rates the city charges water, sewer and natural gas customers within its municipal limits during its first three years in operation. The facility will begin paying the higher rates charged customers outside the city in its fourth year of operation.

The second ordinance approved by council Monday morning amends the utility ordinance to permit the agreement between the city and Project Montenegro.

The city’s action come a little more than a month after Union County Council approved a resolution and first reading of two ordinances authorizing the county to enter into an incentive agreement with Project Montenegro. The incentives include:

• A 24-acre site the county will lease to the company. The site will be included in a multi-county business or industrial park the county will establish in cooperation with Spartanburg County.

• A 30-year fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement which would allow the company to pay a reduced property tax rate of 6 percent rather than 10.5 percent. As part of the multi-county industrial park agreement, the revenue generated will be divided between Union and Spartanburg counties with the former receiving 99 percent and the latter 1 percent.

• An annual Special Revenue Credit the company would receive the first five years the fee-in-lieu of taxes will be paid equal to 15 percent of the fee the county will receive.

If the agreement between the county and the company is finalized, Project Montenegro could result in a $19.3 million investment by the company and the creation of 101 new jobs.

By Charles Warner, Staff Reporter with The Union Daily Times