Comporium, a local telephone and Internet provider, will pay the city of Rock Hill $276,000 to help develop the Textile Corridor area between the citys downtown and Cherry Road.
Telecommunication companies such as Comporium can earn a state tax credit by investing in public development projects instead of paying some licensing taxes to the S.C. Department of Revenue.
Comporiums contribution will aid upgrades to the Textile Corridors water lines on Laurel Street and help pay for road improvements and the eventual replacement of the citys water tower near downtown, said Stephen Turner, the citys Economic and Urban Development Department head.
The stretch between Rock Hills downtown leading toward Winthrop University and Cherry Road, he said, is York Countys largest business park.
The city has concentrated redevelopment efforts in the area, including acquiring the Rock Hill Printing & Finishing Co. site also known as the Bleachery in March 2011 and demolishing many of its deteriorating buildings.
Comporiums investment comes on the heels of private development projects completed on former textile industrial sites, including the Rock Hill Cotton Factory, completed in 2007.
About $12 million in private investment restored the citys oldest mill into a 100,000-square-foot building housing office and retail space.
Family Trust Credit Union has plans for expansion in the corridor with a new banking and operations center slated for construction at White and Laurel streets.
If the tax credit is not granted by the state, Rock Hill will return the companys money either in part or completely, according to Comporiums contract with the city.
Council OKs raise for Vehaun
The council also approved a $10,000 raise for City Manager David Vehaun for his excellent performance. The city promoted Vehaun in October 2010 to city manager after he served as the citys finance director for 21 years.
At the end of this year, Vehaun will retire and return to work on Jan. 2, 2013 qualifying for state retirement benefits and earning a yearly salary of $168,292.
Vehauns starting salary was $158,017, and neither he nor other city employees have had a performance-based pay increase over the past three years.
Rock Hills City Council re-implemented base pay increases at an average of 3 percent this year. Employee pay raises are based on performance evaluations and were capped at 1.5 percent over the past three years.
The city also celebrated two recently announced awards on Monday. The League of American Bicyclists has named Rock Hill a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community, and The International City/County Management Association awarded the city a Certificate of Excellence.
Rock Hill has earned that title two years in a row and is the only city in the state to receive the international associations excellent rating.
Councilwoman Susie Hinton cast her final votes on Monday as representative for Rock Hills Ward 1. She announced Aug. 14 that she plans to move out of Ward 1s boundaries, making her ineligible for her seat.
She told the council and Mayor Doug Echols that she has mixed feelings about leaving the position after four and a half years.
Echols thanked Hinton and welcomed her replacement, Sandra Oborokumo, a retired human resources specialist with the federal governments USDA Forestry Service. Oborokumo will be sworn in at the Nov. 12 City Council meeting.
Echols told Hinton she can keep her name placard which sits in front of each council member.
Its not a gold watch, he said. But we love you.
Anna Douglas 803-329-4068