Back

Randolph County Commissioners

Special Meeting – May 5, 2003


The Randolph County Board of Commissioners met in a special called joint meeting with the Asheboro City Council at 3:00 p.m. in the Training Room, County Office Building, 725 McDowell Road, Asheboro, NC to hold a public hearing to consider a resolution to enter into an economic incentives contract with Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Inc. Commissioners Kemp, Frye, Davis, and Holmes were present. Commissioner Mason entered the meeting where so noted later in these minutes. City Council members present were John McGlohon, David Smith, Talmadge Baker, Archie Priest, Paul Trollinger, Linda Carter, and Mayor David Jarrell.

        Chairman Kemp called the meeting to order and welcomed those present.

        Mayor Jarrell explained the purpose of the meeting and opened the public hearing on behalf of the City.

        Chairman Kemp opened the public hearing on behalf of the County and called on Bonnie Renfro, Director of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, for comments.

        Ms. Renfro provided the following information about Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Inc. (EBMI) and the proposed project:

· EBMI began its first operations in Asheboro in 1948 and added a second operation in 1968, with a full line of alkaline batteries.

· The 2 Asheboro plants are the world’s largest alkaline battery manufacturing operation and the County’s and City’s largest taxpayer (current assessed value exceeds $128 million).

· EBMI is considering new locations as well as existing operations for its expansion. Asheboro has several advantages: flexibility, competitive cost structure, access to technological support, and the quality and loyalty of the existing workforce. Other locations offer strong competition due to lower wages, tax savings, and aggressive incentives. Their selection of Asheboro is contingent in part on the ability to improve the competitive situation.

· EBMI is asking for a total of $1,270,000 ($635,000 each) from the County and the City. In return, upon completion of the project, the company will have generated new investment in real and personal property associated with the project equal to or greater than $80 million and created a minimum of 65 new jobs in the county and city. Funding would be paid in 5 installments (once every fiscal year), contingent on several performance requirements. Ms. Renfro outlined these requirements.

· The City could expect approximately $400,000 in new tax revenues from EBMI annually upon completion of the project; the County, approximately $384,000. These new revenues would result in an incentive payback of 1.59 years for the City and 1.65 years for the County.

· Industry standards say that every new job in the battery industry results in the creation of 2.38 additional jobs.

· The Randolph County EDC feels that, while attracting new companies is important, keeping our current customers here, and keeping them growing, is even more crucial.

        Commissioner Frye asked Ms. Renfro if the company had agreed to the terms of the performance requirements, and she said that they had.

        Chairman Kemp opened the floor for comments from the public.

        Bob Crumley, Asheboro, stated that he supports the use of local government funds for economic development projects, but he has some reservations about this project. He questioned whether the 65 jobs to be created with this project would be net new jobs or just used to regain some of the 112 jobs previously lost. He said that 75% of new jobs are created by companies with fewer than 500 employees and that small businesses in Randolph County should be receiving assistance from the County and City. He added that the County and City should set up a small business development fund, administered through the Small Business Center at Randolph Community College, to help small businesses with expansion projects. He also stated that the County and City should require bids for the EBMI project to be awarded to Randolph County vendors.

        Jim Culberson, retired banker from Asheboro, stated that EBMI has been a great corporate citizen and that he supports this project.

        Skip Sant, EBMI Plant 1 Manager, discussed the company’s investment in this project and said they are competing within their organization (21 manufacturing locations) for expansion dollars.

        Jack Marcus, Unilever Plant Manager, voiced his support for this project, stating that Unilever has just completed a similar project with funding assistance from the County and City.


Commissioner Mason entered the meeting at this point and was present for the remainder of the meeting.


        Austin Fine, EBMI Plant 2 Manager, stated that their earlier reduction in force of 112 was throughout the entire organization; only 12 were local. He said they had since hired those back, plus 10 more.

        Mayor Jarrell closed the public hearing on behalf of the City.

        Chairman Kemp closed the public hearing on behalf of the County.

        On motion of Baker, seconded by Smith, the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to enter into an economic development incentives contract with Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Inc.

        On motion of Frye, seconded by Holmes, the County Commissioners unanimously adopted the following resolution to enter into an economic development incentives contract with Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Inc.:

        WHEREAS, Section 158-7.1 of the North Carolina General Statutes authorizes a county to undertake an economic development project by extending assistance to a company in order to cause the company to locate or expand its operations within the county; and

        WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Randolph County has held a public hearing to consider whether to participate in an economic development project that will result in the County of Randolph (the "County"), the City of Asheboro (the "City"), and Energizer Battery Manufacturing, Incorporated (the "Company") entering into an economic development incentives contract whereby the County and the City each contribute six hundred thirty-five thousand dollars ($635,000.00) for a total payment of one million two hundred seventy thousand dollars ($1,270,000.00) to the Company to offset the site and development costs of the expansion of the Company’s existing facilities in the City of Asheboro, Randolph County, North Carolina; and

        WHEREAS, upon the completion by the Company of this expansion project, the Company will have generated new value/investment in real and personal property associated with the project in an amount equal to or in excess of eighty million dollars ($80,000,000.00) and created a minimum of sixty-five (65) new jobs in the county and city; and

        WHEREAS, this economic development project will stimulate and stabilize the local economy, promote business in the county and city, and result in the creation of a significant number of jobs in the county and city; and

        WHEREAS, the County has in its General Fund available revenues sufficient to fund this economic development project;

        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Randolph County, this 5th day of May, 2003, as follows:

        Section 1. The County is authorized to expend up to six hundred thirty-five thousand dollars ($635,000.00) of County funds for the Energizer Battery economic development project.

        Section 2. In addition to the standard terms found in contracts that the County routinely executes in the ordinary course of business, the economic development incentives contract entered into by and between the County, the City, and the Company must contain the following essential terms and conditions:

  1. The total payment made to the "Company" under this contract shall not exceed one million two hundred seventy thousand dollars ($1,270,000.00).

  2.  Fifty-percent of the contract amount will be paid by the County, and the other fifty-percent of the contract amount will be paid by the City.

  3. The contract amount will be paid in five (5) installments at a frequency not to exceed one installment per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) and tied to the completion by the Company of certain performance requirements, including but not limited to, the following:

  1. The Company must properly obtain from the City a Certificate of Occupancy or letter/certificate of compliance, as appropriate, certifying that the 94,000 square foot expansion at Asheboro I may be occupied or used for Factory-Industrial Occupancy in accordance with the provisions of zoning, building, and other applicable ordinances and laws of the City of Asheboro and the State of North Carolina, and the Company must deliver to the County and the City a written certification that the actual new value/investment in real and personal property of the project equals or exceeds the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000.00); and

  2. The Company must deliver to the County and to the City a written certification that the cumulative new value/investment in real and personal property of the project equals or exceeds the sum of thirty five million dollars ($35,000,000.00), and the Company must deliver to the County and the City Employment Security Reports evidencing the creation of fifteen (15) new jobs (full-time or leased); and

  3. The Company must deliver to the County and to the City a written certification that the cumulative new value/investment in real and personal property of the project equals or exceeds the sum of fifty million dollars ($50,000,000.00), and the Company must deliver to the County and the City Employment Security Reports evidencing the creation of an additional twenty-five (25) new jobs (full-time or leased); and

  4. The Company must deliver to the County and to the City a written certification that the cumulative new value/investment in real and personal property of the project equals or exceeds the sum of sixty-five million dollars ($65,000,000.00), and the Company must deliver to the County and the City Employment Security Reports evidencing the creation of an additional twenty-five (25) new jobs (full-time or leased); and

  5. The Company must deliver to the County and to the City a written certification that the cumulative new value/investment in real and personal property of the project equals or exceeds the sum of eighty million dollars ($80,000,000.00).

  1. The contract must provide the County and the City with a means of recouping a portion of the contract amount if the Company’s facility, as expanded, does not remain in full operation for a period of two (2) years immediately following the date on which the final installment of the contract amount is paid to the Company.

  2. If the Company does not remain in full operation during this two (2) year period, a portion of the incentive money must be returned. The amount to be returned shall decrease on a pro-rated amount for each year that the company remains in the city and county. Any amounts returned by the company in this manner shall be divided equally between the County and the City.

        Section 3. The County Manager is hereby authorized to execute on behalf of the County of Randolph a contract drafted in accordance with Section 2 of this resolution and any other documents necessary for the implementation of this economic development project.

        Chairman Kemp called on Jack Marcus, Plant Manager for Unilever Bestfoods, for a report on their completed economic development project.

        Mr. Marcus gave a PowerPoint presentation regarding Unilever and their recent expansion. Under the terms of the incentives contract with the City and County, Unilever was required to invest $5.5 million. They actually invested $8 million. They created 59 new jobs and added $2.8 million to their payroll. Mr. Marcus expressed his appreciation for the financial assistance from the City and the County.

        On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Jarrell adjourned the meeting.

        On behalf of the County Commissioners, Chairman Kemp adjourned the meeting.


Phil Kemp, Chairman Darrell L. Frye
J. Harold Holmes Robert B. Davis
Robert O. Mason Alice D. Dawson, Clerk to the Board