Big Aiken employer may get boost tonight

AIKEN --- The Aiken County Council's decision to provide tax incentives to MTU Detroit Diesel will be up for public discussion at a special meeting tonight.

The called meeting will be held at 6:45 p.m., before the council's 7 p.m. meeting.

For two months the diesel company was referred to as "Project X." The project, publicly revealed Thursday, would bring 250 jobs and a $45 million investment to the area.

Public hearings will be held on an ordinance that proposes the authorization of fee-in-lieu-of-taxes incentives, the inclusion of the company in the Sage Mill Industrial Park and a real estate contract for about 50 acres. Residents can also weigh in on an ordinance that would authorize Special Source Revenue Bonds for up to $1.1 million to the project.

The council will consider the ordinance on third and final reading in the regular meeting. If approved, the diesel company would be one step closer to setting up its plant in Graniteville.

The council has not selected a finalist after interviewing six architectural firms vying to design the county complex, said Assistant County Administrator Todd Glover. The finalists have also not been named, but the matter might be discussed in executive session tonight.

Also on the agenda:

- A proposed resolution authorizing a public hearing and loan not exceeding $665,000 for the Beech Island Fire Department

- A proposed resolution to authorize the council chairman to approve a form that allows Aiken County Animal Control to execute animal transfer agreements with animal shelters for the purpose of placing animals in homes

- A proposed resolution to allow Aiken County Animal Control staff to offer special adoptions rates at the shelter throughout the year

The special called meeting and regular meeting will be held in the council chambers, 736 Richland Ave.

Reach Stephanie Toone at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.