Independence County Nears Deal for Jobs

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 20, 2013 12:00 am  

Independence County said last week it has a “handshake agreement” with a food processing company to move into the county’s new business park.

Larry Jones, director of Independence County Economic Development Inc., declined to name the company until the deal is final, which should be in the next month. But he said the company would add about 25 jobs and be the first tenant of the county’s business park.

Under the terms of the deal, the county would build a 6,000-SF distribution warehouse for the firm and the company would enter into a 20-year lease with the county.

“I think this will provide some momentum … for the business park,” Jones said.

The county bought the 47 acres, which was mainly undeveloped land, for the park in December for $1.17 million from the Betty Johnston Trust, Jones said.

He said the county’s economic development department needed the property because it didn’t have any land available for companies interested in moving to the county. He said the land is connected to White Drive, which is a state highway, and is surrounded by industrial development near Batesville. The property also has access to utilities and a rail line.

The money for the land came from the county’s 0.25 percent sales tax for economic development. The tax generates about $1.2 million annually.



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