The Highland City Council on Monday unanimously approved an economic development agreement with a local accounting firm, but rejected extending a business development incentive with a local retailer.
The City Council approved an economic development agreement with Scheffel Boyle, but rejected extending Family Care Properties business development incentive for another 233 days.
Scheffel Boyle is planning to build a 1,887-square foot addition off its existing office building at 2 Woodcrest Professional Park this fall.
The council agreed to give Scheffel Boyle $44,780 to relocate its existing water and sewer lines to a vacant lot that sits directly behind its office building.
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The agreement will be terminated if the accounting firm:
▪ voluntary or involuntary files for bankruptcy;
▪ voluntary or involuntary closes the Highland office; and
▪ sells the business.
Scheffel Boyle is out of space in its existing 1,564-square foot building, according to Mark Korte, one of 16 principals with the accounting firm.
Highland Economic Development and Marketing Coordinator Lisa Peck said the accounting firm is planning to add five more employees after the addition is complete.
Scheffel Boyle has been in Highland since 1985.
After meeting in closed session, the council reconvened in open session and unanimously turned down extending a business incentive agreement with Family Care Properties.
The city entered an incentive agreement with Family Care Properties on Jan. 18, 2011, namely for Family Dollar, when that retail store chain located at 1016 Broadway.
Per the agreement, the city waived fees for permits, inspections and utility connections, in addition to granting sales tax rebates and payments based on the footprint of the store.
“The city was to provide an economic development incentive of $1 per square foot per year (with the portion of the year prorated) for 66 months for an annual amount paid to the developer of $8,617 for each of the first five years, with $4,308.50 for the remaining six months,” Peck said.
However, Family Dollar closed on Oct. 1, 2014, prompting the city to terminate its incentive payments.
Family Care Properties had been seeking payments from the city for the 233 days that the retail space was vacant, city officials said.
Family Care Properties has since leased the property to Dollar Tree, which opened on May 22, 2015.
Peck said the city followed the original agreement, until such time that Family Dollar vacated the space.
The city has met a couple times with Family Care Properties in hopes of working out an agreement. But City Manager Mark Latham said Family Care Properties has a different interpretation of the initial agreement.
What the City Council considered on Monday was paying Family Care Properties the money the company thought it was owed from the Family Dollar deal, but with language crafted so that the incentive package is based on Dollar Tree occupying the space. It would not be worth any additional money.