Supervisors approve Phoenix Packaging, Koinonia performance agreements

Performance agreements between the county and Phoenix Packaging and Koinonia Tapes and Foams Technical Parts were approved Monday night by the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.

The agreement with Phoenix Packaging applies to its plans for expansion at its current facility in the county’s industrial park.

According to the agreement, Phoenix plans to make a $48.7 million capital expenditure and create 145 new jobs at its expanded facility. The jobs come with average annual wages of at least $40,978 each and are in addition to the 400 full-time jobs at the facility as of April 1, 2017.

In return, Phoenix receives over $2.5 million in state incentives and an estimated $3.8 million in local incentives in the form of building permit and utility connection fee waivers and local tax grants, with $3 million of that amount coming from a prior commitment with the company.

The agreement with Koinonia Tapes and Foams Technical Parts calls for the Brazilian company to provide 40 new jobs at its facility to be built in the ShaeDawn Industrial Park in Dublin.

Pulaski County will purchase a 30,000 square foot facility, expandable to 40,000 square feet to be built in the park, and will enter into a lease-purchase agreement with Koinonia who will complete the purchase in five years.

The 40 new jobs will bring average annual wages of $35,300 each.

In return, Koinonia receives about $352,000 in state-level incentives, and $156,165 in local incentives in the form of Machinery and Tools Tax grants, real estate tax grants, permitting fee waivers and rent at temporary space.

Supervisors Chairman Andy McCready said wages at Koinonia will be roughly $17 per hour, while wages for the Phoenix jobs will be in the $20 per hour range.

“This board has been working to attract more jobs to Pulaski County,” McCready said. “We are very interested in attracting jobs that pay better with benefits, so our citizens may enjoy life more.  One of the board’s goals is to attract higher-paying jobs.”

Many of these higher-paying new jobs, McCready said, require higher skill levels because “we’re talking about advanced manufacturing.”

Cloyd District Supervisor Joe Guthrie said the 40 jobs at Koinonia paying $35,300 per year mean a $1,412,000 per year payroll.

“That’s roughly 10 times the amount of the local incentives the county is offering, and that’s an annual payroll,” he said.

County Administrator Jonathan Sweet said Pulaski County has to make sure it has the workforce to support these new jobs.

“We have a real need to solve our workforce challenge to make sure we’ve got qualified, trained individuals for the jobs we’re getting.  It’s a good problem to have,” Sweet said.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot

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