NEWBERRY — Newberry County Council took another step forward Wednesday to finance the new industrial speculative building in the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park.
In a 5-2 vote, the council agreed to finance half of the $2.42 million projected cost for the shell building through a loan from Santee Cooper.
Council members Bill Waldrop and Kirksey Koon voted against the financing, while Buddy Livingston, John Caldwell, Steve Stockman, Les Hipp and Scott Cain voted for it.
The loan will be financed by Santee Cooper for the first five years at 2 percent interest with the county only paying the interest.
After five years the county will have to pay the principal and interest on the loan at the five year U.S. Treasury rate, which will be determined at the time.
The remaining amount to fund the building will come through cash the county has on hand.
But to do this, the county will have to borrow the $1.2 million as an installment purchase loan on the new public works facility being built on S.C. 34.
The council had planned to pay for the public works facility with the cash on hand. Banks cannot loan money on speculative ventures but can loan money on the public works facility. So the council decided to pay for the spec building with cash and in turn finance the new public works facility, which should be completed in two months.
“Banks will not fund buildings the county can walk away from,” said Newberry County Administrator Wayne Adams.
The final vote to take out the installment purchase loan on the public works facility will come at the March 6 council meeting. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Newberry County Annex on College Street.
The new shell building will be built at the Mid-Carolina Commerce Park at the intersection of S.C. 773 and I-26. The building will be 50,000 square feet and can be expanded.
County Economic Development Director Teresa Powers has said that over 75 percent of the industry looking for sites in the state want an existing building.
Members of the council hope the new spec building will spur economic growth in the county.