New job incentives in Iredell
Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009

New job incentives in Iredell

Iredell to use millions of dollars in incentives for local projects and in Statesville, Troutman and Mooresville.

STATESVILLE Two Iredell County companies and three local governments will receive millions of dollars in incentives for projects that will put more people to work.

The Iredell County commissioners unanimously agreed last week to use about $9million in bonding authority for the planned $800million Langtree at the Lake community at Interstate 77 Exit 31 in south Iredell and about $9million for Providencia USA.

Providencia, a Brazilian maker of nonwoven fabrics, is about to start construction in West Industrial Park, north of Statesville.

The commissioners also agreed to use about $4.1million in bonding authority for the planned 100-acre Troutman Lake Norman Business Park at Ostwalt Amity and Houston roads in Troutman, $3million for the planned east Statesville fire station and $5million for Mooresville sewer projects.

A federal economic recovery program gives every county in the state authority to issue the recovery bonds. The program gives companies and local governments access to tax-free bonds at low interest rates.

The developers of Langtree at the Lake didn't know the recovery bonds were available until Russ Rogerson, executive director of the nonprofit Mooresville/South Iredell Economic Development Corp., informed them about six weeks ago, said David Parker, Langtree's general counsel and a partner in the project.

Langtree at the Lake will create at least 1,000 construction jobs and at least 1,500 permanent jobs at companies locating in the 350-acre mixed-use development, Langtree representatives have said.

The recovery bonds will enable Langtree to start on its roads, sidewalks, and water, sewer and electrical lines. John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts planned to begin construction this year on a 300-room, 12-story Embassy Suites hotel and 75,000-square-foot convention center in Langtree at the Lake, can't begin until the roads and utility work are done.

Providencia will employ 56 workers initially and up to 160 eventually, for pay averaging $19 or $20 per hour.

PGI, an international maker of nonwoven fabrics that has a plant in Mooresville, sent a representative to last week's meeting to see whether it, too, could obtain recovery bonds. When commissioner Ken Robertson asked whether the company had a "shovel-ready" project, as the bonds require, the representative said the company didn't.

Unused revenue bonds across North Carolina will revert to the state for future use, commissioner Steve Johnson said.

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