County Passes Greenville Tech Expansion Funding - WSPA.com

County Passes Greenville Tech Expansion Funding

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A funding solution for an expansion at Greenville Tech was passed by Greenville County Council Tuesday night. A funding solution for an expansion at Greenville Tech was passed by Greenville County Council Tuesday night.
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A funding solution for an expansion at Greenville Tech was passed by Greenville County Council Tuesday night.

Leaders say taxpayers will not see an increase as part of the funding for the new manufacturing campus because the county recently discovered an extra $3.6 million in its bank account.

Now, leaders say the next step is to figure out where the campus will be located. A site selection firm is handling that task.

Officials also plan to ask for state funding again. A request was already turned down, mostly due to lack of local funding.

Construction is expected to start next fall.

Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Greenville County leaders will vote on a funding proposal for Greenville Tech Tuesday night that won’t involve raising your taxes.

Last week, county leaders discovered an extra $3.6 million in their bank account.

They’re looking at giving the extra funds to the school.

The money would be returned to the country through interest paid.

Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Greenville County has a plan to help fund Greenville Tech's $25 Million manufacturing campus and it wouldn't require a tax increase.

The County tells us it has $3.6 Million more than it thought.

Now the County Administrator is proposing a plan to use that money to help get Greenville Tech's expansion started.

The money would be returned to the county, most likely with interest, in the long run.

County officials will vote on the plan in a third reading on on Tuesday, September 3.

Updated Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Greenville County voted unanimously Tuesday night to give a second reading approval to an expansion at Greenville Technical College.

The $25 million proposal uses tax dollars to fund a "Enterprise Campus."

The plan now awaits a third reading vote. County leaders say they will discuss possible changes to the funding sources at a meeting Monday.

Posted Monday, August 19, 2013

A key vote is coming up Tuesday that could lead to an increase in your property taxes.

It's for a new building at Greenville Technical College geared toward training students for careers in the Upstate's growing manufacturing industry.

On Monday, job seeker Truman Brightman stood in line behind hundreds of people competing for 400 temporary manufacturing jobs with BMW. The job may be temporary, but Brightman said demand for his manufacturing skills is here to stay.

"I think it's at a thriving point right this minute. I'm glad to see that there's a lot of manufacturing jobs that are hiring and looking for qualified people," said Brightman.

Greenville Technical College wants the Upstate to be ready for the local manufacturing industry's demand for skilled workers.

That's why it's proposing a brand new Enterprise Campus to train the next generation of manufacturers and house an incubator for local start-ups.

Greenville Tech said the new facility would train 200 more students a year. The school has seen the number of its students enrolling in manufacturing-related programs more than double in the past decade.

"When many of these manufacturers were recruited to South Carolina, there was a promise that we made. And the promise was that we'll provide you with a skilled workforce. And so this is Greenville County living up to that promise," said Greenville Tech President Keith Miller.

But Greenville County Council may be hesitating after looking at the $25 million price tag.

"I don't think, as is, there is broad support," said Greenville County Council member Jim Burns. "I think $25 million for a 60,000-square-foot building is extremely expensive."

But Miller said this is more than just a boost to the manufacturing industry. He said the expansion would benefit everyone in the community by raising the per capita income and continuing to attract new business to the local economy.

"What happens if that new industry gets a sense that we're challenged with supplying enough skilled workers to existing manufacturing?" said Miller.

Since it's a proposed tax increase, nine council members have to vote yes for it to pass.

Greenville County Council will take up its second reading of the proposal on Tuesday.

Burns said he'd rather see a compromise where taxpayers don't foot the whole bill.

"I think tomorrow night you'll see a lot of manufacturers, maybe some school district representatives, others come before us and talk to us about how much they support the idea. The question is, who else is going to financially support this?" said Burns.

Greenville Tech already asked state legislators for $5 million to help fund the project. But the state turned it down, instead giving Greenville Tech about $400,000 to research what the Enterprise Campus would be like.

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