Aiken County Council unanimously approves amendments to incentive agreements with Kimberly-Clark, Zeus

March 21, 2019

Aiken County Council unanimously approved Tuesday several ordinances dealing with amendments to agreements to provide incentives for economic development.

One involved the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and it passed on its third and final reading.

Councilman Danny Feagin of District 3 recused himself from the vote because he is a Kimberly-Clark employee.

In the mid-1990s, the county entered into an agreement with Kimberly-Clark to create a joint county industrial and business park, and that arrangement was amended in 2000 and 2006.

The amendment in the ordinance approved Tuesday, expands the area of the park and extends the agreement.

Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark informed County Council it was considering making an additional capital investment of at least $115 million to establish and/or expand certain facilities at its Beech Island plant.

Under joint county industrial and business park agreements, “the biggest incentive for companies that participate is that they can get a tax credit for job creation,” County Council Chairman Gary Bunker told the Aiken Standard during a telephone on Monday.

In addition Tuesday, County Council approved the second readings of two ordinances involving amendments to 2008 agreements between the county and Zeus Industrial Products Inc.

One would expand the area of a joint county industrial and business park and change the park’s name.

The other ordinance would include additional property and investment in a fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreement.

Last April, Zeus announced it would be spending $15.7 million to expand it existing operations in Aiken County. That expansion will create 51 new jobs.

The following also received unanimous approval from County Council:

• The first reading of an ordinance that would revise the service boundaries of the Center Fire District and the New Holland Fire District.

• The first reading of an ordinance that would change the zoning for approximately 12.5 acres on Henley Lane in Aiken from residential single-family conservation to agricultural preservation.

• A resolution that awards the contract to construct a new Monetta Magistrate Office to J.E. Stewart Builders Inc. of Aiken.

• A resolution that awards a contract to ECS Southeast LLP to “provide environmental services excavation oversight and reporting” for a project that involves the removal of several sandbars from Langley Pond in the Warrenville area.

The new Monetta Magistrate Office will be located near the corner of Wire Road and S.C. Highway 39, said County Administrator Clay Killian.

Capital Project Sales Tax III will provide $585,456 for the project.

ECS Southeast’s work at Langley Pond is needed to make sure the soil in the sandbars isn’t contaminated, said Bunker on Monday.

The pond once was a wastewater dumping ground for various manufacturing plants in the area.

Capital Project Sales Tax III funds will cover the $154,800 cost of ECS Southeast’s services.

All members of County Council were present at Tuesday’s meeting, which lasted less than 30 minutes.