Council told of 130 job openings here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nearly 130 jobs are or will be available at two Lewisburg-based businesses with over a dozen more to be available soon, city councilmen were told during their July meeting.

Now hiring are Ace Bayou and Hawk Converting, according to a written report filed by City Economic and Community Development Director Greg Lowe. Creed Jewelry is "about to begin hiring," Lowe said.

Ace Bayou is operating where the Sanford pencil factory was. Hawk Converting is in the Industrial Park.

All three have been assisted by the city's Industrial Development Board's endorsement of a contract that phases in payments likened to property tax obligations. They're PILOTs, or Payment In Lieu Of Taxes Agreements, that transfer property to the city, a tax-free entity, so taxes are waived for several years. A 10-year PILOT starts with no payment, but the obligation increases by one-tenth of the total annually until the entire tax obligation level is reached. When the phase-in period ends, full payment of annual property taxes is expected.

Meanwhile, Lowe is taking steps toward making the Lewisburg Business Park a Foreign Trade Zone, he reported to councilmen on July 12. This will make it a territory especially suited for companies incorporated in foreign countries.

That Tuesday night, the council unanimously voted to update the city's storm water regulations in line with federal regulations. It's required under a state order to the city since it was found to have been out of compliance.

Stormwater regulations are a result of the 1972 Clean Water Act of Congress to control pollution of rivers and streams with silt and grime washed from fields and paved areas.

The city plans to conduct a public hearing on the issue just before the council reconvenes for its regular meeting held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Some of the regulations that face residents include a prohibition against dumping lawnmower grass clippings in a creek, according to Joe "Buck" Beard, the city's storm water program director.

Clean Water Act regulations require a public education program and Beard told the council that they are to be posted on the city's Web site.