Incentives And Distance Lure Two Tier One Hyundai Suppliers To Lowndes County

Lowndes County Commissioner Charlie King is walking on cloud nine. It's his birthday today. He turned 50 but that number is nothing compared to what Daehan Solutions will bring to impoverished Lowndes County; a county with a soaring unemployment rate of 13%.

"This is my 5th term as commissioner and this is the largest project we've ever located in Lowndes County," says Commissioner King.

In the county's industrial park in Tyson, Daehan Solutions is just days away from construction, and once the company opens up for business, it will not have to pay any property taxes for 10 years. In terms of dollars and cents, that means the county will lose about 4 million dollars over a decade in property taxes. King, however, chooses to look at it a different way.

"Those millions you're referring to, we never see them anyway. With Daehan coming and supplying nearly 200 jobs, this was the right thing to do," says King.

That same contract calls for Daehan Solutions to hire at least 50% of its employees from Lowndes County. The close proximity to the main Hyundai plant on Teague Road in south Montgomery also played in Lowndes County's favor as it did for Fort Deposit; the site of the county's first tier one supplier announced about 2 weeks ago. A hundred jobs will be up for grabs there. Fort Deposit officials weren't available to talk about the specifics of their incentive plan.

And there's even more encouraging news for Lowndes County. There's word a third tier one supplier could locate in the industrial park. Commissioner King says he won't know anything for sure until the middle of May.

Lowndes County officials are also counting on a one-cent county-wide sales tax to help pay for projects related to Daehan Solutions, projects like widening roads and installing signs around the plant. The Alabama legislature has to approve the tax, but King says he's been given assurances that lawmakers will pass it.