DANVILLE — At its meeting Monday, the town council here decided to waive the connection fees of water and sewer for an incoming business as an incentive and good faith gesture.
The company, Bio-Response Solutions, based in Pittsboro, will build another plant in Commerce Park, at 200 Colin Court. Construction will be handled by Edwards-Rigdon Construction of Danville.
Town Manager Gary Eakin said Bio-Response Solutions CEO Joe Wilson has formally requested the connection fees of $11,350 ($5,100 for water and $6,250 for sewer) be waived.
Eakin informed the council that one option it had would be to use Economic Development Income Tax (EDIT) funds to cover the waiving of the fees.
“I’d like to say that we used EDIT for a purpose in which it was designed,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to use the EDIT for what it was actually intended for.”
Eakin added that Bio-Response Solutions has already been approved for a tax abatement, to which council member Mike Neilson asked if both abatements and the waiving of connections had happened before.
“We have (done them both) because we were in competition and we had to sweeten the pot (to get a business to come to Danville),” Eakin said.
Neilson said his worry was starting a precedent.
“I just don’t want to set a dangerous precedent where other businesses say, ‘OK, now this is how we play the game. We’ll come in ask for waivers, then all of a sudden we ask for more,’” he said.
Councilman Dennis Wynn said if new businesses began asking about incentives to move to Danville, he would consider that a good problem to have.
Neilson agreed, but added that the council needs to be diligent about these decisions going forward.
“My gut on this is just I hate doing it, but at the same time I agree with Dennis,” he said. “I don’t think it was something done spitefully, or maliciously, but I think we have to be very clear about these things going forward because you open the door (to potential problems down the road).”
Wynn made the motion to waive the connection fees for water and sewer for Bio-Response Solutions, with the $11,350 coming from EDIT.
The motion was seconded and passed 3-0 (Councilman Jeff Martin recused himself because his employer was involved and Councilman Steve Hartsock was not present).
Meanwhile, the council decided it would meet for a budget workshop at 4 p.m., before the regularly scheduled council meeting on June 17.
The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month in the Danville Town Hall.