MEC Offers Dillon County A Bigger Economic Reality

Contributed Article
Marlboro Electric has offered Dillon County an exclusive opportunity to make the big picture for economic development a reality. 
Dillon County will have its own independent Industrial Park which begins with a Class A Industrial Spec Building, with anticipation of more to come in the future.
“This is just the beginning!  By bringing business leaders together and providing resources as the Co-op has done, this proposal can help bring retail, industries, jobs, and funding to Dillon County,” Bo McInnis, Board Chairman of Marlboro Electric said. “Marlboro Electric is offering Dillon County an opportunity to fulfill the need for a new spec building, park and economic growth, like Commerce City in Florence.”   
Marlboro Electric has given Dillon County several options, along with RDA (Rural Development Act) funds to offset the cost of the project, so taxes will not be raised on its citizens. 
The industrial park will not be shared with other counties and Dillon County will receive all of the benefits and tax revenue.
Marlboro Electric has provided approximately $1 million over the last five years in funding and resources since 2002 to Dillon County for the Carolina’s I-95 Mega Site, the Tri-County Industrial Park, and Latta’s Industrial Park, even though some properties are not served by MEC.
 In addition, Marlboro Electric has provided major financial support to Dillon County, which includes paying over $1 million in taxes in the past five years to Dillon County.  
Marlboro Electric was a key factor in bringing Harbor Freight Tools to Dillon County, and continues to play a vital role in Dillon County’s economic development.    The partnership between Marlboro Electric and Dillon County could mean the availability of more RDA funds. The SC Department of Revenue allows credit for utility license tax to be used specifically for economic development.  Instead of sending funds to the state, Marlboro Electric prefers to keep it within the two counties that it serves, Dillon and Marlboro, to improve the economic conditions of the rural area.
Marlboro Electric proposes to oversee the entire construction of a 50,000 sq. ft. expandable to 100,000 sq. ft. Class A Industrial Spec Building and land purchase.  In addition, they will provide marketing of the building and remaining property to help economic development to progress in Dillon County. 
“Companies today look for sites that are readily available, developed and established.  They don’t want to wait on promises to do business.  A recent new industrial spec building in Marion began gathering prospects before completion,” according to Bill Fleming, President & CEO of Marlboro Electric. 
“With a Class A industrial building located on 15 acres at I-95 and Highway 34, Dillon County Industrial Park will be an invitation to prospects, illustrating that Dillon County is totally invested in economic  development.”
While unemployment rates for Dillon County have decreased in 2013, Dillon continues to rank in the top 10 in South Carolina with the highest unemployment rate, between 12.0 and 13.0 percent.
Economic development has been a struggle for Dillon County to attract and retain businesses.  Competition is further intensified by the use of many variations of economic incentives to the potential business such as: tax incentives, investment capital, donated land, utility rate discounts, and many others in today’s globalized world.
If Dillon County builds the spec building, it will be beneficial by increasing the tax base, increase opportunities for new industry, new retail, increase jobs and lower unemployment, and impact the local economy in a positive way.  The second reading of Marlboro Electric Cooperative’s proposal to build a turnkey Class A Industrial Spec Building for Dillon County will be held Wednesday, May 22. 

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