Manufacturer considers locating plant in county
Carbon County economic development director DeLynn Fielding was busy last week.
Fielding spent most of the week working with various public entities and private property owners to develop a proposal for an agricultural steel products manufacturer that has whittled down the company's list of possible sites for a distribution and manufacturing plant in Utah to Carbon and Box Elder counties.
The company, which has been looking for an additional location for some time, is up in the air as to which site it will select at the present time, indicated the economic development director.
However, the final decision should be made in the near future and, if the company decides in Carbon County's favor, the plant could mean some good jobs for people in the local area.
"Whether we get this or not, I will not consider what we did a failure because it proved to me that governmental and private concerns can come together to attract businesses here," said Fielding during an interview on Wednesday morning.
Last week, Fielding went to almost every local government agency that would be involved with getting a business to bring its location to the preferred Ridge Road site.
Fielding received support in various ways from Carbon School District, Carbon County, Wellington, Price, Pro-Carbon, Inc., the Price River Water Improvement District, the College of Eastern Utah and the Southeast Utah Community Development Corporation.
Support from government agencies usually involves giving tax and fee concessions, infrastructure support and various means of sweetening a package for a company to move into an area.
The use of similar kinds of incentives, along with federal grants and state monies to attract businesses, is a common practice by city, county and state governments across the United States.
The problem is numerous communities in Utah and across the country can offer similar concessions. Therefore, in order for an area to attract the business, the communites and local governments must be willing go the extra mile.
In the current case, Carbon County agencies did exactly that.
According to Fielding, the main advantage Box Elder had over Carbon in the deal was the area's willingness to give the company 20 acres of suitable land with an option for 20 additional acres in the manufacturer needed the extra property to expand the agricultural steel processing plant.
At first, Box Elder's proposal appeared to create a problem in Carbon County's campaign to entice the company to locate the plant in the local area
However, the situation changed at the end of last week.
"The property they were interested in along Ridge Road is in private hands," explained the Carbon County economic development director.
"But we met with the landowners and were able to work some things out so that we could offer a similar deal to what Box Elder had tendered," he added
Working out the details puts Carbon in a favorable position because most factors are equal except one - the work force available, commented Fielding.
"Carbon has a better work force for what they want to do at their new facility," stated the county's economic development director.
According to the information he has received, Fielding said the company would have a lot of the jobs in skill areas such as welding and metal fabrication, something many in the local work force have.
The company is based in the south and wants to initially open a distribution plant at the new location. Then, the manufacturer wants to expand the facility into an actual manufacturing plant.
The company produces steel fencing and panels for agriculture.
"Initially the business would provide about 30 jobs," explains Fielding. "When they move into the manufacturing stage, there could be over 200 jobs available." The operation will also require a rail line running to the processing facility.
Fielding indicated that he found some federal funding that could be used to help the company with the rail line at the end of last week.
In addition, the economic development director found a $100,000 tax credit the manufacturing company could qualify for at the state level that can only be offered from certain counties.
"We happen to be one of those counties," pointed out Fielding. "Box Elder County can't offer that."
The manufacturer recently sent several company officials to the county to survey the area.
The informational support the company representatives received during the recent visit was invaluable, noted the county's economic development director. The support came from the Castle Valley Travel Council, the local vocational rehabilitation and workforce services offices as well as the Southeast Applied Technology Center
Fielding indicated that he has relayed all the information to the manufacturer. The company officials told the economic development director that they would be making a decision very quickly.
"Again, I was just thrilled at the way everyone worked together to try and make this happen," stated Fielding. "I think this is a great tale that tells a positive story about our leaders and our community."