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BREAKING TUES.: Economic incentives hearing set for California company to open Burlington location

A California-based company that sterilizes medical equipment has cast its eye on the city of Burlington as it searches for a place to serve as its entry point into the Eastern U.S.

The firm SteriTek has apparently approached both the city’s leaders and their counterparts with Alamance County about a potential facility – as well as the prospects for publicly-funded incentives to offset the expense of this project.

In response to this overture, the county’s board of commissioners has agreed to hold a public hearing on September 19 about a proposed incentives package, whose details are expected to become public ahead of the hearing.

The commissioners formally voted to schedule this hearing on Tuesday morning at the behest of David Putnam, the director of economic development for the Alamance County-Area Chamber of Commerce. In compliance with a longstanding county policy, Putnam shared the company’s identity with the commissioners when he approached them during their latest regularly-scheduled meeting that morning.

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David Putnam, Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce
SteriTek building, as shown on the company’s website.

“The name of the company is SteriTek,” he told the county’s governing board. “The company focuses on sterilization of medical devices, and if a decision is made to locate in Alamance County, they would be locating in the city of Burlington.

“They are California-based,” Putnam went on to add, “and this would be their East Coast foothold in the South.”

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Burlington city council may have considered a similar incentives request

At this point, Burlington’s city council hasn’t given any public consideration to its own proposed welcoming gift for SteriTek. The council, which has no regular meetings on the calendar until September 20, nevertheless held a special-called meeting on Friday in order to deal with two unrelated economic development matters.

The first item on the special meeting’s agenda concerned funds that the council had previously pledged to the Samet Corporation of Greensboro in order to defer the cost of a medical office park near Alamance Regional Medical Center. The council formally signed off on this $964,000 appropriation in open session. Its members then went behind closed doors for an hour and 40 minutes to discuss another matter with the city’s economic developer Peter Bishop.

When The Alamance News subsequently approached Bishop about the council’s closed session, he wouldn’t confirm whether or not it had anything to do with SteriTek’s proposed facility. Even so, the city’s economic developer was on hand Tuesday when the commissioners scheduled their public hearing on the Golden State company’s request for incentives.

Putnam described the company as a company specializing in the sterilization of medical equipment. The company’s website describes itself as “a high-volume E-beam/X-ray contract sterilizer and R&D innovation center that provides on-demand sterilization, microbiology, cross-linking, and expert consultative services to the medical device, biotech, pharmaceutical, tissue product, and other industries.”

In addition to its headquarters in Fremont, California, the company is opening a second location in Lewisville, Texas, a Dallas suburb.

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