By MARINA WATERS
A new company could soon be coming to Washington County’s Industrial Park.
Alicia Summers, the vice president of business development for the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership, presented information to the county’s budget committee on the German manufacturing company that is considering a 67-acre plot at Washington county’s industrial park.
The committee passed the plan, which includes a purchasing price of $1.2 million for the 30-acre section. Should the company select Tennessee’s oldest county, they’re projected to create 179 new jobs over five years in Washington County. However, the HVAC manufacturing company is deciding between the location in Washington County, another in Tennessee and one in Texas.
“I am optimistic,” Summers told the committee. “One of the reasons why is originally, they were looking just for a site in an industrial park. They felt like they would need some almost immediate space to do some manufacturing. One of the advantages was that not only did we have the site we were looking for, but we had five buildings to show them as well. I think that kind of put us a little ahead of the other sites in the other communities.”
The company is considering the 67-acre section because the company is expressed interested in expanding in the future, Summers said. She also added that the industrial park’s site certification has been a draw for potential companies.
“What it means when you have a certified site is that all of the due diligence work has been completed on the site,” Summers said. “To a consultant or a company, that eliminates risk. That saves them both time and money.”
Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy added that he felt the company seemed community-minded.
“When they came in, they were interested in the site and that’s important. But they checked that off the list pretty quick and almost the balance of the intention was turned to workforce first and community second,” Grandy said. “The last time we knew they were here, they wanted to be left alone to be in the community for a day and a half to go to restaurants, shop a little, talk to people. One of the things that impressed me a lot with those folks so far is they seem to be community minded.”
Part of the focus on the community is reflected in the tax agreement, Grandy said; there would be a tax abatement at 100 percent during the first three years for the company, but the company would still pay the education part, putting $59,000 towards Washington County’s schools each year.
“When we presented this reduction of their tax abatement to go to our schools, they were immediately accepting of that understanding that education is important and education builds your workforce,” Grandy said. “So if we get these people here, they appear to be very community minded and should be great citizens.”
The county commission will vote on the plan at its next regularly scheduled meeting set for Monday, April 22, at 6 p.m. at the George Jaynes Justice Center, 108 W Jackson Blvd., Jonesborough.