Despite economic woes elsewhere across the country, at least one industry in McDuffie County is expanding.
Thomson Plastics Inc. is continuing to forge ahead and to provide more stability for its employees.
Larry Collins, the human resources manager at Thomson Plastics, was not available to talk Monday about whether new hiring will take place as a result of a warehouse expansion.
Like two other warehouses, the new one will be leased from the McDuffie County Industrial Development Authority.
The new warehouse offers 39,696 square feet, more than the combined space of the existing warehouses, which total 29,000 square feet, according to McDuffie County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Mike Carrington. The warehouses are on property previously owned by the Salant Corp., which owned and operated Thomson Co. The factory employed hundreds of workers and made men's and women's clothing until it closed because of bankruptcy.
"It's great to see Thomson Plastics doing as well as they are doing in business," Mr. Carrington said during an interview Monday. "We are pleased that we have been able to accommodate their needs with warehousing for their products here in Thomson since this is where the company is based."
Before Thomson Plastics can begin operations in the larger warehouse, several modifications must be made, Mr. Carrington said.
The cost of those modifications is expected to be about $225,000, he said. Funding for the upgrades will come from an allotment to the local industrial development authority, which was derived from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
During an industrial development authority meeting Dec. 28, board member Bob Knox Jr. made a motion to move forward with the project as presented and to authorize Chairman Riley Stamey and Mr. Carrington to sign the appropriate documents. Mr. Knox's motion was seconded by John Perryman.
One of the modifications is a new 8-inch water line, which would allow for a sprinkler system and would bring the building into compliance with state fire code regulations, he added. Fire Technology LLC, of Augusta, was awarded the bid for that work.
Another modification to the larger warehouse involves a dock for loading and unloading trucks.
"We've got to make some adjustments to that dock so that the concrete doesn't get broken during the loading and unloading of trucks," Mr. Carrington said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS: Members of the development authority also adopted a 2011 operating budget. The new budget totals $74,500 -- an increase of about $7,000 over the 2010 budget.
The increase will cover the industrial development authority's one-third portion for the shared salary of secretarial assistance from Teleen Neville, who is the office manager for four entities. Mrs. Neville also assists the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce, the Thomson-McDuffie Convention and Visitors Bureau and Forward McDuffie.
Mr. Carrington said the industrial development authority's portion will be $8,400 -- the same amount as the chamber of commerce and convention and visitors bureau.
The industrial development authority's budget was also increased to ensure that funding is available for legal and accounting purposes, the executive director said.