STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON MARCH 20, 2006
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building.
Those present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Commissioner Larry Young, Commissioner Chuck McGrady, County Manager Steve Wyatt, Assistant County Manager Justin Hembree, County Attorney Russ Burrell, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth Corn.
Also present were: Budget and Management Director Selena Coffey, Public Information Officer Chris Coulson, Finance Director Carey McLelland, Fire Marshal Rocky Hyder and County Engineer Gary Tweed.
Absent were: Vice-Chairman Charlie Messer and Commissioner Shannon Baldwin.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
Commissioner McGrady made the motion to approve the agenda. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW COUNTY MANAGER
Chairman Moyer introduced the new County Manager, Steven Wyatt. This was Mr. Wyatt’s first day, and Chairman Moyer welcomed him to Henderson County.
Chairman Moyer mentioned that March 21st would be Joel Burgess’ last day with the Times-News. He thanked Mr. Burgess for his coverage of Henderson County government over the years, and wished him the best.
FINAL APPROVAL OF ECONOMIC INCENTIVES AGREEMENT
Chairman Moyer noted that over the past several months, the Board had been working with many people in the community on an economic incentives package for the Elkamet Corporation. The general terms of the package had been presented several months previously for consideration. The purpose of this meeting was to take a final look at that agreement, and have the Board authorize it for presentation to Elkamet.
Mr. Burrell provided the Board with a draft of the final contract with Elkamet. It was in essentially the same form as when it was presented at the public hearing. The only substantial change was that the actual amount of investment by Elkamet was larger than the amount originally contemplated. Rather than $4 million, it was $4.8 million. All other terms were identical, and Mr. Burrell proposed that the contract be adopted today.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion that the Board approve the draft economic incentives agreement with Elkamet Inc. and direct the Chairman, County Manager and County Attorney to execute the contract for the County and take other actions necessary to complete the transaction. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer then presented the contract to Heir Flammer, President of Elkamet, for his consideration.
Heir Flammer addressed the Board, stating that Elkamet was ready to announce that they would settle their plant in Henderson County. They were excited about the location for the new plant, to be built on the old fairgrounds property. He stated that Elkamet had been looking for a site in the United States, due to the current cost of shipping their products to the U.S. from their current location in Biedenkopf, Germany. They considered factors such as access to transportation, education, and the open minded climate. Heir Flammer thanked all those who made this possible, including Blue Ridge Community College, the Board of Education, the Employment Security Commission, the State of North Carolina, and Scott Hamilton with the Chamber of Commerce.
Heir Flammer and Chairman Moyer each signed the Economic Incentives Agreement.
Gus Campano, Chairman of the Partnership for Economic Development, stated that it was his pleasure to join the Board in welcoming Elkamet to Henderson County. Included in the audience was a broad section of representatives from Henderson County and the business community, including: Dr. David Sink, President of Blue Ridge Community College, Representative Carolyn Justus, Dale Carroll, President and CEO of Advantage West, Dallas Hardenbrook and Cindy Messer from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Erwin Bazzle, Chairman of the School Board, Bob Williford, President of the Chamber of Commerce, members of the Board of Directors for both the Chamber of Commerce and other interested citizens from the community. Mr. Campano stated that they had worked diligently over the past ten months to secure the announcement made today. Elkamet had committed to investing over $4.5 million dollars and creating 50 jobs over the next three years that pay salaries above the county’s average wages. The business of economic development is to enhance the economic well being of the citizens of the community. Working in partnership and cooperation with each of the entities previously mentioned, had helped achieve this step toward that goal. Mr. Campano again welcomed Elkamet to Henderson County.
Chairman Moyer thanked Scott Hamilton for his work on this project, and invited him to say a few words. Mr. Hamilton reviewed the following timeline of events for this project:
· Mid-May 2005 – Dallas Hardenbrook contacted Mr. Hamilton about a manufacturing client who had an interest in this portion of the State, and needed a facility with some unique needs. At that same time, a building believed to meet the requirements became available. It turned out that the building was not sufficient, but Mr. Hamilton showed Heir Flammer the old fairgrounds site.
· September 2005 – Heir Flammer e-mailed Mr. Hamilton to state that he had been unable to locate a suitable building, and he would like to look again at the old fairgrounds site. Mr. Hamilton coordinated a number of meetings, and was able to show Heir Flammer around the community.
· September through October 2005 – The Board of Commissioners met to discuss and compile an incentives agreement which was sent to Heir Flammer.
· October 2005 – Dr. David Sink, Gus Campano, Scott Hamilton and Chairman Moyer visited Elkamet’s site in Biedenkopf, Germany. The incentives agreement was presented at that time. Since that time, Heir Flammer and his colleagues had made at least six trips back to Henderson County.
· March 2006 – Scott Hamilton had again visited Elkamet in Germany to further discuss the relocation.
Scott Hamilton discussed how they had arrived at Project Cardinal as a code name for this project. As the group was traveling back from the airport in October, there had been a Cardinals baseball game on the radio, Heir Flammer had worked and lived in Saint Louis, Chairman Moyer and Dr. Sink were Cardinals fans, and the state bird of North Carolina is a cardinal. Mr. Hamilton presented a picture of a cardinal to Elkamet to hang in the lobby of this new facility.
On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Chairman Moyer thanked everyone again for their effort in bringing Elkamet to Henderson County. He welcomed Elkamet to Henderson County, and thanked them for their decision to join us. Commissioner Young also thanked Heir Flammer, stating that they looked forward to working with Elkamet in the future.
Commissioner McGrady made the motion to adjourn the meeting. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman