Council approves leasing building to Ozark Materials
Published 10:27 am Thursday, May 30, 2013
After nearly two years of vacancy, the former WestPoint Home building is another step closer to having a new occupant.
On Tuesday, just three days after Ozark Materials announced its intentions to locate a new production facility in Greenville, the city council voted to approve a deal that would allow the company to lease the building with an option to buy for $600,000.
The lease agreement extends 10 years, and covers the building and the land inside the fence that surrounds the property.
Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said the city has also agreed to sell approximately 15 acres of the property located outside of the fence to AIA Recycling.
“We’re in the process of having the land appraised, so we still don’t know the figure yet, but we have a deal worked out with AIA to sell that portion of the property,” McLendon said.
The city purchased the 300,000 square foot building in February for $750,000, with the Butler County Commission agreeing to contribute $50,000.
McLendon said the city will be responsible for paying off the remainder of the loan after receiving the $600,000 from Ozark Materials, the $50,000 from the Butler County Commission and the purchase price of the land it sells to AIA Recycling.
“We’re going to have to pay something, but we know that we’ve got 40 new jobs and we kept a building from being torn down,” McLendon said. “We feel like this a good deal.”
McLendon said he also expects the city to recoup the portion of the money it will pay of the loan through taxes generated from the sale of Ozark Materials’ products to companies such as Ozark Striping, a sister company of Ozark Materials.
According to McLendon, the city agreed to lower the company’s sales tax rate from the standard 9.5 percent to 6.5 percent in order to entice the company to locate in the Camellia City.
“He was looking at another location that offered him 6.5 percent and we told him that if getting it down to 6.5 percent is what it took to get him here, we’d make that happen,” McLendon said. “Under this agreement we’ll get about 1 percent from the taxes paid when some purchases their products.”
The city will also provide a 10-year tax abatement to Ozark Materials. The abatement means that the company will be exempt from paying all state and local non-educational taxes.
Ozark Materials’ Greenville facility will produce thermoplastic.
Thermoplastic is a polymer that becomes pliable or moldable at a specific temperature, and returns to a solid state upon cooling. The material is used to stripe roads across the state.
Lee Gross, president of Ozark Materials, said the plant will initially create 40 jobs and that along with creating the new jobs, the company will be making a $3 million investment in equipment to get the plant operational. He expects the plant to be delivering material by February or March.