Business recruiter going to prospects

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lewisburg's industrial developer is being sent on a three-state trip to follow up on visits by prospective new employers who are considering establishing operations here.

The city's Industrial Development Board unanimously voted on Monday to pay for the trip by Industrial Development Director Terry Wallace who's to go to businesses in North Carolina, Louisiana and Ohio.

"Things are picking up," Wallace reported. "We've had several visits and are making up lists of available properties."

"Two prospects visited the other day," Wallace said.

In connection with such developments, the Board endorsed the recent "Rachet Up" initiative to train current and displaced workers so they'll be better prepared for new jobs.

As for sending Wallace to visit businesses that have looked at property here, IDB Chairman Eddie Wiles asked the Board "Should Terry fly or drive to visit them?"

Wiles, Wallace and officials from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development met recently about industrial prospects moving here, Wiles said. Names of the businesses could not be stated because of confidentiality agreements, but the chairman and the developer expressed high hopes for the prospects.

As a result, Wiles asked Wallace and the Board if they "feel like it's that close and critical to visit," then should the panel spend some of its own money on Wallace's travel.

Dollar amounts mentioned included $3,000 and $5,000. The Board gets money from application fees paid by businesses requesting property tax breaks through a contract that gradually increases payments toward full responsibility for the tax obligation.

With a few questions and answers, IDB Treasurer Sam Kirby established a procedure for accounting of Wallace's travel expenses and the Board turned to other business.

Also Monday, the Board recommended Steve Adams and Jim Weaver be reappointed to the Board by the City Council that meet next Tuesday. Meanwhile, former Councilman Arnold Lilly was nominated to succeed Bubba Tankersley who's rotating off the Board.

Councilwoman Quinn Brandon noted that membership on the IDB is established by the Council and is not a mayoral appointment.

IDB terms are six years.