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Kannapolis City Council OKs tax break for Harmony Labs

By Hugh Fisher
hfisher@salisburypost.com
KANNAPOLIS ó The City Council unanimously approved an incentive grant agreement Monday with Harmony Labs Inc., allowing an estimated three-year tax break of $43,732.
Harmony Labs is headquartered in Kannapolis, with manufacturing and lab facilities located in the former Wal-Mart location on North Cannon Boulevard. The company also has facilities in Landis.
The company, which manufactures prescription drugs and high-end cosmetics for national and international markets, plans to invest more than $3.5 million to expand in Kannapolis.
“Rarely, if ever, do you find such a productive use in a big-box facility,” City Manager Mike Legg said. He called Harmony Labs’ interest “one of the best things that could happen” in that part of the city.
William Lynch, president and CEO of Harmony Labs, said the expansion will create approximately 50 new jobs.
Lynch said the pharmaceutical business is growing. The company has grown from 88 employees in 2003 to 225 today.
The company sought the grant to help aid in its growth. “The equipment we will be bringing in is, first and foremost, lab equipment,” Wench said.
“We plan to expand … to add more floor space for the sake of more filling lines, for the sake of more tech lab area and for the sake of having greater warehouse space.”
With the approval of the incentive package, Harmony Labs will pay $7,717.50 in city taxes the next three years.
The full tax payment to the city, beginning in the fourth year and following the company’s investments, will be about $17,150.
In other business, the council:
– Approved a project ordinance to construct a maintenance and storage building at Village Park for Kannapolis Parks and Recreation.
The building will be constructed by Carolina Building Systems at a cost of $40,847.
– Held a public hearing regarding the use of $400,000 earmarked from the 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations act to purchase flood-prone properties along Patterson Branch.
Under the proposal, the city would pay $133,333 ó or 25 percent of the total project budget ó to purchase properties on Kingston Drive that have a history of flooding.
No further action was taken. Assistant City Manager Eddie Smith said that the federal funds should be made available by this fall.
– Unanimously approved a $2,000 bid by Castle and Cooke to purchase a 561-square-foot plot of land which was formerly the site of a Cannon Mills water vault.
With the formal sale, the small plot will become part of a larger space where a parking deck serving the N.C. Research Campus will be located.
A city-maintained corporation acquired the land when former Cannon Mills infrastructure was taken over some years ago.
– Accepted the donation of 4.07 acres of land on Bradford Road on the shore of the Coddle Creek Reservoir.
Shiloh Farms Inc. is giving the land to the city. Valued at approximately $508,750, Legg said the land would be ideal for use as a park and that further acquisitions in the area are possible.
– Heard from Councilman Richard Anderson, who asked the council to discuss the city’s sign ordinance, citing concerns of a local business owner who is not permitted to construct a new sign under existing ordinances.
Legg said the matter will be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
– Met in closed session to discuss negotiations regarding property acquisition and to consult with the city attorney.

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