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Burlington pledges $730K toward Alamance Foods expansion

Company will also seek $630,000 from county commissioners later this month

Burlington’s city council has approved $730,000 in financial incentives to defray the cost of an industrial expansion that the locally-based food processor Alamance Foods has in the offing near Burlington’s border with Graham.

The council voted 5-to-0 to extend this six-figure largesse during a regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday in order to secure the company’s commitment to construct this $42 million addition at 1136 Cedar Crest Drive.

According to information that was shared with the council on Tuesday night, Alamance Foods plans to build a 220,000 square-foot structure next to its existing food distribution center along Cedar Crest Drive. The company intends to use 45,000 square feet of this building for refrigerated storage, 67,000 square feet for dry storage, and the remaining space for the equipment needed to operate two new production lines.

Alamance Foods anticipates that this proposed expansion will ultimately add $42 million to the tax value of its existing plant – of which, about $22 million would come from the aforementioned equipment. The company says it intends to hire 135 new employees over five years – with an average salary $48,812 a year.

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In order to persuade the company to follow through on its plans, the N.C. Department of Commerce has already offered Alamance Foods a job investment grant in state funds worth up to $611,100. The office of Governor Roy Cooper formally announced the approval of this grant in December as well as the company’s intention to proceed with the project as previously described.

To further sweeten the deal, the city of Burlington has offered the company a total of $630,000 in cash grants over a five year period – a sum that represents 1.5 percent of the facility’s anticipated tax value. The city has also agreed to waive some $100,000 in planning and development fees and sponsor an application for a state-level building reuse grant that could add another $500,000 to the company’s kitty.

Peter Bishop, Burlington’s economic development director, assured the city council that, in spite of its proposed cost to the city, Burlington can expect to come out ahead on this deal thanks to the additional property tax revenue it will receive when the expansion is finished.

“This project is revenue positive the moment it gets its certificate of occupancy and gets on the tax rolls,” the city’s economic development director declared during a state-mandated public hearing on Tuesday. “The project represents a big investment from an existing industry – and a locally-founded industry that we have in Burlington.”

The city council went on to vote 5-to-0 in favor of the proffered incentives.


County incentives also in the offing?

Bishop told the council that Alamance Foods also stands to receive another $630,000 in cash-based incentives from Alamance County’s board of commissioners. According to David Putnam with the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce, this proposed outlay will be formally broached to the county’s governing board later this month.

David Putnam of the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce during a county commissioners meeting earlier this fall.

“We do intend to follow the [county’s incentives] policy,” Putnam informed The Alamance News on Tuesday, “and we intend to request a hearing at the next [county commissioners’] meeting [on January 17].”

Aside from whatever funds the county may allocate, Alamance Foods is also reportedly eligible for $182,000 in state-subsidized training. This training component brings the cumulative value of the company’s prospective state and local incentives to more than $2.6 million – counting both the state’s potential building reuse grant and the county’s anticipated cash contribution.

Read earlier coverage of the Governor’s announcement of state incentives funding for the company’s expansion:

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