Both the Greensboro City Council and the Randolph County Board of Commissioners met Monday morning on Dec. 6 and approved economic incentive packages for Project Darwin at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.
An announcement of the company coming to the megasite has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6 at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.
It had been widely reported that Toyota wss the unnamed company behind Project Darwin and after the City Council meeting had adjourned, the Triad Business Journal confirmed Toyota Battery Manufacturing Inc. is the company coming to the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.
The Randolph County commissioners met at 9 a.m. and the Greensboro City Council met at 10 a.m., but because the Randolph County commissioners had a large number of speakers at its public hearing, and the Greensboro City Council had none, the two elected bodies voted to approve the incentive packages within a few minutes of each other.
The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite lies entirely in Randolph County along US 421 near Liberty, and the Randolph County commissioners unanimously approved incentives in the form of a property tax rebate and the transfer of property owned by Randolph County and by the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation to the company, which will invest at least $1 billion and create at least 1,750 new jobs at the megasite.
The Greensboro City Council by an 8-0 vote approved waiving the fees for the extension of a 16-inch water line and a 16-inch sewer line to the megasite. The estimated cost of the water and sewer line is $31.8 million. The Golden Leaf Foundation is paying $7 million of that cost.
The entire nine-member Greensboro City Council was present for the special meeting on Monday, but the vote was 8-0 because Councilmember Justin Outling was recused. Outling asked to be recused because he is a partner in the Brooks Pierce law firm, which did some legal work associated with the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.
After the vote Mayor Nancy Vaughan thanked a long list of people who have been involved over the years in the megasite project, which dates back to initial planning in 2011 when Robbie Perkins was mayor.
She began by saying, “A big thank you goes to Jim Melvin and the Bryan Foundation.” She noted that Melvin, along with the financial support of the Bryan Foundation, had helped build the regional relationships that made the megasite a reality.
She thanked Interim City Manager Chris Wilson for the work he had done, in particular during the past couple of weeks as all the loose ends were being tied up, but also recognized former city managers David Parrish and Jim Westmoreland for their work on the project as well as Greensboro Water Resources Director Mike Borchers and former Water Resources Director Steve Drew.
She noted the work done by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and its president Brent Christensen to bring this project to fruition.
Vaughan said, “This was not an overnight success. This took planning and leaders who were willing to take a risk.”
She also thanked the City Council in 2015 for having the foresight to make a “bold move” to invest in the water and sewer line that made the project possible and named a long list of partners who had participated in making the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite a reality.