County approves Corning incentives

Dave Plyler

County approves Corning incentives
September 29
07:30 2016



Forsyth County commissioners approved an incentive deal for Corning Optical Communications LLC to expand in Winston-Salem at its Monday, Sept. 26, meeting.

Corning has agreed to expand its local fiber optic cable manufacturing operation, which currently has 304 employees. The company plans to add 100 new full-time jobs locally with an average wage of $58,000 a year plus benefits within four years, and invest $30 million in additional machinery and equipment within five years. Forsyth County agreed to an incentive of up to $384,872 from the general fund over a five year period. The incentive will not exceed half of the property tax paid by Corning in the prior fiscal year.

“I think it’s a good deal for us, I think it’s a good deal for the company,” said County Commissioner Chair Dave Plyler.

In addition to the county, Corning is requesting up to $453,300 in incentives from the city with a public hearing set for the next city council meeting on Oct. 3. The state’s Economic Investment Committee approved a grant for up to $1.93 million dollars over 12 years for Corning’s planned expansion in the state, which will also include 105 new jobs at its Hickory plant where it will invest $53.5 million over five years. Corning Optical Communications is a $3 billion segment of Corning Incorporated, which employs 3,000 people throughout the state.

Commissioners also approved applications for Golden Leaf grants, which distribute state settlement money from tobacco manufacturers to projects that will help local economies. The county is applying for $200,000 from Golden Leaf’s open grants program to fund the county’s infrastructure work for a proposed business park on Idols Road. County Manager Dudley Watts said it is one of several sources of funds the county is seeking for the project.

The county submitted three projects for Golden Leaf’s Community Based Grants Initiative. In order of priority they are:

*$500,000 for two new pre-k classrooms in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, which will be in schools where more than 55% of students receive free or reduced lunch.

* $477,000 for Goler CDC’s Workforce Technology Pathway 2020, that will provide IT training to 100 underemployed or unemployed residents.

  • $500,000 to cover part of the funds the city is providing for a Goler CDC hydroponics facility at Kimberley Park to bring fresh produce to that community, which is in a food desert.

Park to bring fresh produce to that community, which is in a food desert.

In addition, the county is submitting a letter of support for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council of Government applying for a Golden Leaf grant for its regional Revolving Loan Program for small and large businesses in downtowns and developed areas.

A submitted plan by Forsyth Technical Community College for an Advanced Manufacturing Mobile Classroom that would’ve traveled to local high schools was withdrawn from consideration by the college.

Commissioners are still working on a tethering ordinance that would ban unsupervised tethering of dogs, allowing animal control officers to give citations to those in violation. At a briefing last week, County Commissioner Ted Kaplan presented a draft with language like the Guilford County tethering ordinance with a one year roll-out period, which was supported by the Forsyth Animal Coalition. The commissioners couldn’t come to an agreement on it and plan to keep discussing the issue.

The commissioners also approved a change in the time of their regular meetings from 4 p.m. to 2 p.m. starting Monday, Oct. 10.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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