Buncombe County commissioners will hold a special May 14 meeting to consider offering a big economic incentive deal to an undisclosed company, called “Project X” in related documents.
As part of the proposal, the county would spend roughly $15.7 million on land acquisition and facility construction, and give the mystery company an additional $2.68 million in cash grants. In exchange, Project X would invest about $126.67 million into the local facility and create 52 new jobs, paying an average wage of $40,000 per year. In addition, the company would agree to continue employing an unknown number of current local workers; the “total amount of jobs impacted would be more than 760 positions,” according to the county’s resolution.
The resolution also states that Project X informed the county that if it doesn’t provide the outlined incentives, it wouldn’t make the proposed new investments and would even consider relocating its existing facility “outside of Buncombe County, and thereby cause a substantial number of high paying jobs to be lost.”
The complicated pact would also involve a land and facility swap. No locations for the projects are specified in documents released by the county.
North Carolina law allows the county to keep certain details of its economic development negotiations secret until they are finalized. State law also requires public hearings on such deals, and the May 7 meeting will include opportunities for residents to share their thoughts.
The board will meet at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, in the commissioner’s chambers, located at 200 College Street, suite 326. A short pre-meeting review of the agenda will begin at 4:15 p.m.