Development board receives more than $150,000 in investments

Investments totaling more than $150,000 will be used to make improvements to a county industrial site in the Jonesville area of Union County.

In a statement released Friday, Andrena Powell-Baker, executive director of the Union County Development Board, announced that the board, on behalf of Union County, received a $120,200 investment from Broad River Electric Cooperative at the end of 2012 to fund further improvements to the Trakas Industrial Site in Jonesville. In addition, Powell-Baker said the UCDB received $38,000, again on behalf of Union County, from one of the cooperative’s associative organizations, New Horizon Electric, for a total investment of $158,200.

“Investing in the infrastructure of our community is a significant part of who we are as an electric cooperative,” Broad River Electric President and CEO Doug Wilson said. “We are proud to be able to partner with Union County in developing this site and bring interest and jobs to the community.”

Broad River Electric Cooperative is subject to a license tax and therefore can claim a credit toward that liability to provide infrastructure for approved economic development projects. The funds, commonly known as utility tax credits, are contributions in lieu of taxes as provided by the Rural Development Act. Broad River Electric has a long history of investment in Union County economic development. Since 1997, the utility has contributed over $725,000 to Union County infrastructure.

The monies will be used to enhance the 164-acre site off S.C. 9 in Jonesville and Powell-Baker said entrance roads will be the first priority.

“It is a core objective of the Union County Development Board to insure that there is appropriate product — industrial sites and buildings — available in Union County for new and expanding industries,” Powell-Baker said. “A community without suitable, functional, and available buildings and good industrial sites connected to utilities infrastructure, is a community that has no competitive advantage.”

Powell-Baker thanked Broad River and New Horizon and the chairman and members of Broad River’s board for their support.

“We want to thank Broad River Electric Cooperative and New Horizon Electric Cooperative for their kind and generous investment,” she said. “In addition, we want to offer our sincere appreciation to Norris Fowler, board chairman, Broad River Electric Cooperative, and Broad River board members Anita Whitney and DeCole Gallman who have also supported our infrastructure efforts.”

Powell-Baker praised Broad River for its financial support of the county’s economic development efforts over the past 15 years.

“Since 1997, Broad River has been making an impact on our product development goals by investing in water, sewer, and road infrastructure at Union Commerce Park and the Trakas Industrial Site, both in Union County,” Powell-Baker said. “With this 2012 investment, we will be able to fund a road entrance onto Trakas making it more attractive and accessible when we are showing it to prospects. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Broad River Electric Cooperative. We are proud to have them as an economic development partner.”

Broad River Electric Cooperative is one of 20 member-owned electric cooperatives in South Carolina serving over 20,000 meters in Cherokee, Spartanburg, Union, and Newberry counties in South Carolina and portions of Cleveland, Polk, and Rutherford counties in North Carolina.

New Horizon Electric Cooperative is a service provider of substation design, project management, construction, maintenance and testing for the distribution cooperatives in upstate South Carolina.

The Union County Development Board (UCDB) was established in 1982 for the sole purpose of and authority to promote industrial development in the county of Union, SC. Over time, the UCDB has evolved into a strategically focused team of professionals whose primary goal is to proactively create and support opportunities that will encourage new and existing companies to invest in Union County.

Article taken from the Union Daily Times