LANCASTER COUNTY — Officials and business leaders celebrated Friday an infusion of $229,000 that will be used for local infrastructure projects, including work that will benefit the Keer America Corp. plant that is coming to Indian Land.
The money came from Comporium, which was able to use provisions in the S.C. tax code to redirect utility taxes due to the state to support a qualifying local economic development project. Comporium worked out the funding with affiliates Spirit Communications and Home Telephone Co., which are based in Columbia and Moncks Corner, respectively.
“We had already earmarked tax credits from our communications business in Lancaster and York counties, but we thought that if Spirit and Home Telephone hadn’t committed their funds, yet, we could come up with something for this very worthy project,” said Comporium’s Greg Austin, senior vice president of sales and business services.
“Spirit’s entities came up with 78 percent, and Home pitched in the remainder. This is a team effort and very much appreciated, because it helps us locally and even across the state.”
Keer America Corp.’s Wally Wang, deputy general manager for the Chinese-owned textile company, said at a Jan. 3 check presentation that his business is “delighted” with the recent decision to locate its manufacturing facility in Indian Land.
“Lancaster enjoys a lot of advantages,” Wang said. “There is a very good textile foundation here – the labor pool is very suitable for our company. The people here have a strong work ethic.”
The company has announced plans to ultimately employ around 500 people to work in the 230,000-square-foot cotton yarn spinning facility on a 140-acre site in the panhandle area of Lancaster County. There will also be a 10,000-square-foot administration building constructed on the site. Wang will be in charge of the operation once production begins after construction, and he recruits 163 workers and managerial staff.
Keith Tunnell, president of Lancaster County Economic Development Corp., said the tax credits funds would impact more than just Keer America.
“The commitment of these grant dollars for the Keer project will enable the county to match an Economic Development Authority grant of more than $18 million that will improve water, sewer, and road infrastructure for not only this project but additional projects and expansions along Old Bailes Road and Hwy. 160,” in Indian Land, Tunnell said.
“The Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation appreciates this support of the Keer project.”