Iredell County commissioners on Tuesday will consider approving about $18 million in financial incentives for companies locating in the Statesville area and at Lake Norman in south Iredell.
Commissioners will be asked to use about $9 million in bonding authority for the planned $800 million Langtree at the Lake community at Interstate 77 Exit 31 in south Iredell, and about $9 million for Providencia USA, a Brazilian maker of nonwoven fabrics about to start construction in West Industrial Park north of Statesville.
The commissioners meet at 7 p.m. at the Iredell County Government Center, 200 S. Center St. in Statesville.
A federal economic recovery program gives every county in the state authority to issue these bonds. The recovery bonds would give the companies access to tax-free bonds for road and other improvements at low interest rates. They would be backed by the companies, not local government.
The Iredell County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority voted 5-0 on Thursday to recommend the bonds for Providencia USA. But the authority's vote on the Langtree bonds was 3-2 in favor - not the legally required four votes needed for recommendation to pass. Two authority members were absent, so the authority reconvened on Friday to vote again. (The meeting was after this story's deadline.).
The county commissioners don't have to abide by the authority's recommendations when it votes Tuesday, and the Local Government Commission in Raleigh has ultimate say on approving the bonds.
Providencia USA officials told the Observer last week they're starting construction immediately, regardless of whether the bonds are ultimately OK'd.
The company first announced plans to build in Statesville in September 2008 and open the plant this year, but the project was put on hold because of the global economic downturn, said Herminio V.S. de Freitas, president and chief executive officer. "In the past few quarters, we have noticed an increase in demand," he said.
The plant will employ 56 workers initially and up to 160 eventually, said Gene Konczal, Providencia's general manager. Hourly pay will average $19 to $20.
The company makes fabrics that go into baby and adult diapers, surgical drapes, gowns and face masks, and furniture and bedding. The Statesville plant will focus on the growing adult-diaper market, de Freitas said. Many of the diaper manufacturers the company sells to are within a day's drive of Statesville, he said.
The plant will open in January 2011 and be in full production by March or April 2011, de Freitas said. Langtree at the Lake needs the bonds to begin installing roads, sidewalks and water, sewer and electrical lines.
The 350-acre mixed-use project includes a mile of Lake Norman frontage, three miles of Lake Davidson frontage and three miles of Interstate 77 frontage.
The project will create at least 1,000 construction jobs and at least 1,500 permanent jobs at companies locating in the development, Langtree officials said.
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. But Hammons can't begin until the water, sewer and other improvements are in place, Langtree's general counsel David Parker told the authority.