CHIPLEY – A new industry could soon bring new life to the old Washington County industrial park, along with approximately 50 new jobs.
Code-named “Project M&M,” the project has been in talks between the undisclosed company and the Washington County Economic Development Council (EDC) for more than a year.
The company has enacted confidentiality, a common practice afforded by Florida Statute during economic development agreements which help protect not only the business prospect from competitors gaining an edge, but also the county from losing the deal to another location.
While the identity and nature of the business are still undisclosed, EDC Executive Director Ted Everett says the company anticipates employees’ annual salaries will average between $50,000 and $60,000 with upper management making “six figures” a year.
Everett also notes that while the project is far from its final stages, the company has moved forward with requesting an 18-month option on 15 acres within the old industrial park, located on Pecan Street in Chipley.
The option is segmented into three six-month phases with terms stating the company will place $25,000 into escrow for the first six months. If the company decides not to take the option into a sales contract during that first phase, the $25,000 is returned. For the second six months, the company will add another $15,000. If they decide not to take the option into a sales contract at that time, the county will retain the $15,000.
During the final phase, the company will pay $20,000, bringing the option total to $35,000. If the company declines to exercise the option at that time, the county will retain the $35,000 as compensation for keeping the property off the market for 18 months.
The company presented the county with an identical proposal last year; however, the project did not move forward. Now that the proposal is back on the table, Everett says he is confident “Project M&M” will become a reality.
“I feel that at some point, they will exercise this option into a sales contract,” said Everett. “If we could get 50 jobs on that pay scale, that’s pretty significant.”
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