‘Project Gamecock’ revealed as DLS Tire

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Company pledges $2.6 million, 50 jobs

By Chris Sardelli

Plans for a new company to invest several million dollars and create 50 new jobs, once dubbed only as “Project Gamecock,” were revealed during Lancaster County Council’s meeting June 10.
During the meeting, council approved a resolution to enter into a fee-in-lieu-of-tax (FILOT) agreement with DLS Tire Centers Inc. by a vote of 6-0. Councilman Larry Honeycutt left the meeting early and was absent from the vote.
Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell publicly revealed the company as DLS Tire Centers, which will set up shop in the former Guardian building inside the Perimeter/521 Industrial Park. The building is located at 9072 Northfield Drive, just off Charlotte Highway (U.S. 521) in Indian Land.
County officials had previously only used the “Project Gamecock” code name when referring to the project in public discussions, until the deal was finalized.
As part of the FILOT agreement, the company pledges to invest $2.6 million in the county and create 50 jobs within four years, Tunnell said. The agreement also states that the company pledges to create 25 full-time jobs by the end of the first year.
“And these will be good jobs, at $17 an hour with benefits,” Tunnell told council.
According to the county’s Resolution #0806-R2013, the FILOT agreement includes an investment period of five years with FILOT payments assessed at a ratio of 6 percent and a fixed millage rate of 275.9 mills for a 30-year term.
The company will receive special source revenue credits equal to 50 percent of the FILOT payments due for the first five years, though the company must repay those credits if their pledge of investment and jobs is not met.
Tunnell praised the company and its commitment to working with the county.
“It’s a quality project and we’re lucky to have them here,” Tunnell said.
County Administrator Steve Willis said the resolution is akin to a commitment letter between the company and county.
“This is telling the company we’re looking forward to working with them and here’s our agreement,” Willis said.
“If the company wants to proceed we’ll have to do an ordinance detailing the special source revenue credits.”
The next step involves bringing the FILOT agreement back to council as an ordinance, which must then be approved three times, Willis said.
“There’s no time frame yet. It’s up to the company now, but then on the county’s part they’ll do the ordinance,” he said.
DLS Tire Centers, Inc. is a tire retreading company with several retail locations in Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri and Colorado.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416