‘Project 1032’ unveiled

“Project 1032” is no longer just a code number.

On Monday, Chester County Council heard a brief presentation from Jerry Danes, a project manager for Jones Hamilton Company. Danes said the company would begin construction on a local plant in 2013 and hoped to be operational by 2014.

During the meeting, the council discussed third reading of an ordinance to authorize and execute a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement with Jones Hamilton. County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey was questioned about the company but deferred.

“We can get it straight from the horse instead of from the donkey,” Roddey joked , before asking Danes to speak.

According to the company’s website, Jones Hamilton, headquartered in Ohio “has been a leader in producing, packaging, and distributing chemicals and compounds for a variety of customers and end users since 1951. Since our inception, our employees have been dedicated to providing high quality chemicals with the best service available. Founders and co-chairmen J. Kern Hamilton and James H. Black built the employee-owned company. Their dedication to build a strong company is reflected in long-term customer relationships, employee ownership, teamwork, and optimistic problem solving. We take great pride in our long-term customer relationships. These relationships are built upon a thorough knowledge of customer business needs and excellent service. We use our knowledge to match our capabilities with customer needs. Following this, our customers know that they can rely on J-H Co. to deliver high quality chemicals efficiently and on time. The company’s products are sold to manufacturing, processing, and agricultural end users. All of our products are sold in the U.S. and are also available internationally.”

Danes said the company chose Chester to be closer to ports and material sources.

“South Carolina and Chester County did a great job of selling us on this property,” Danes said. “This is a great thing for the county. We consider it a privilege to operate in any community.”

Danes said the work of Chester County Economic Development Director Karlisa Parker and the county at-large on the project had “been exemplary.”

The county passed third reading of the fee-in-lieu of tax agreement unanimously. Previously, the council passed several special exceptions dealing with a piece of land on S.C. Highway 9, including one dealing with “organic or inorganic compounds.”

The county began to officially pave the way for the project in December at a zoning board of appeals meeting. At that meeting, five requests were put forward dealing with a piece of property owned by L&C Landholdings. Four of the requests had to do with reducing required setbacks. Per county ordinances, “structures and operations are setback a minimum of 1,000 feet from all property lines.” One request dealt with the northern boundary to L&C Railroad ROW and S.C. Highway 9, with the request being to allow a variance to 656 feet instead of 1,000. The second asked that the southern boundary of the property be allowed a variance down to 202 feet instead of 1,000. The third asked that the eastern boundary be allowed a variance to 534 feet and the last requested a variance down to 329 feet on the western boundary. The fifth request said “L&C Landholdings is requesting a special exception from the Chester County Zoning Ordinance 2000 from section 4-123.5 for property located at 4544 Lancaster Highway, Richburg S.C. Known as Tax Map # 146-00-00-001 for chemical manufacturing.”

Parker addressed the board on behalf of L&C. She said the last request had to be made with any industry that deals in “organic or inorganic compounds.” The requests were all approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals, and ultimately county council. In December, the planning commission approved a request (also ultimately approved by county council) to switch more than 53 acres on Lancaster Highway from limited industrial to a general industrial designation. All were made as part of “Project 1032, which Parker said Monday is Jones Hamilton.

An official release detailing the size of the investment and the number of employees the company will employ locally is expected soon.

By Travis Jenkins, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter