GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A public hearing was held by the Greenville County Council Tuesday night regarding an agreement with Volvo on a new investment in the county.
The agenda stated that the public hearing will be held on a proposed ordinance that would be an agreement between the county and Volvo on a new “economic development property” that would be subject to a fee in lieu of taxes.
“Of course Volvo moved to Charleston and opened their first US manufacturing plant in 2015, and they have since decided to move more of their suppliers closer, to cut down on delays as far as supply chains,” said Ennis Fant, Greenville County Council District 25.
“By having their suppliers in South Carolina, within an hour or two of their main manufacturing plant, they’ll be able to get their parts just in time. So, as the cars come off the assembly line, the parts for those automobiles will be right there just in time. So, that’s going to cut down on all the supply issues that they’ve been having currently,” Fant said.
According to the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), Volvo is planning invest more than $42 million with two suppliers in Greenville County.
GADC’s press release said: “The Piedmont address is home to Magna, an industrial machinery manufacturer that works with Volvo already, while the Fountain Inn address is home to Wirthwein, an international plastic injection molding service company.”
“The companies are established and already here and operating, and this will just be Volvo’s equipment going into those companies,” said Kevin Landmesser, Sr, Vice-President of Greenville Area Development Corporation.
Officials said the investment from Volvo will be for equipment and site preparation at the two suppliers.
“For them, this means they are putting some of their equipment in existing automotive suppliers that are already here in Greenville, and so the good news for us is that, that means additional tax base, property taxes that Volvo will be paying, and it helps ensure that the automotive suppliers are here are doing well and hopefully can continue growing,” Landmesser said.
At the meeting, some residents opposed Greenville County giving Volvo a tax break for the project.
“I urge you to deny this fee lieu thing,” one man said.
“The Council should shift from tax incentives like the fee lieu tax agreement that directly reduce business cost to public spending,” another man said.
However, Fant said this will help the area as it continues to grow.
“This is huge, but that’s kind of the road we’ve been on lately, as far as huge economic investment. Remember we just had Glove One which is a $150 million investment and 650 jobs. This is a $42 million investment,” Fant said.
“We don’t know exactly how many jobs it’s going to be just yet, but it certainly will be over 100. So, you know, we’re excited, and basically in Greenville County with the economic growth we’re experiencing right now, if anybody wants a job, they have one. Anybody who’s not working, they’re not looking for one,” Fant said. “Cause right now, there are two jobs for every person looking for one.”
“One of the things I think is clear that everybody needs to come to grips with, we’re projected to have over 250,000 new people move to Greenville in the next 20 years, and so this is just a step in that direction. So, the best is yet to come,” Fant said.
The second reading of the ordinance passed unanimously. The third and final reading will be held in two weeks.