Gadsden County commissioners gave a conceptual/non-binding site approval to a new business interested in moving from South America to Gadsden County.
David Gardner, executive director of the Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce, presented the proposal saying that the company wanted to purchase the former Print House facility in Quincy.
According to Gardner, the company, Spray Quimica C.A., is a family-owned corporation and the largest Venezuelan contract aerosol filler in that country.
The company would require a Class Two Use and a Type Two and Level Two review.
Gardner said the company plans a capital investment of $1.5 million in equipment and will hire up to 30 employees over the next three years with an average wage of $35,000 a year.
The reason for the request for a conceptual agreement, Gardner explained, was for the company to know whether the county was interested in it relocating to this area.
Commissioner Brenda Holt said she had concerns about the company’s plans for the building. It had been explained that this company would be filling aerosol paint cans.
The company will be mixing emulsifying (the suspension of a liquid in another liquid) and homogenizing (to blend into a uniform mixture) chemicals.
She wanted to know what chemicals would be used and how the chemicals would be stored. She wanted to know what safeguards would be put in place.
Gardner agreed that they were valid concerns.
County administrator Robert Presnell said he had asked the same questions when he met with representatives from the company.
He stated that the facility would have propane tanks, similar to ones used by the Print House, a propellant and paint. He said they will be mixed in two separate smaller buildings behind the current facility.
Presnell explained that the separate buildings where the paint would be mixed would be specially built with hard walls and a soft roof in case of an explosion.
Chairman Doug Croley stated that the public would need some assurance about the explosive nature of the facility.
Croley said that there will be a community meeting before any official decisions will be made by the commission.
Commissioner Gene Morgan stated that there was a significant buffer already around the site.
Commissioner Sherrie Taylor said she had concerns about the aerosol getting into the air around the area.
She added that she wanted to put the commission on notice that “we have had folks coming in here time and time and time again professing jobs; we’re not getting the lion’s share of those jobs, we’re not getting them.”
Those jobs are going elsewhere, according to Taylor. “They are saying quickly that our people are not qualified, or that they have a history, or they can’t pass tests.” She said every city had its issues.
Her problem, Taylor said, was that there was nothing in place in the county’s ordinances that would make someone give the county jobs.
“I want the jobs,” she said, “but do not want the business where it is planned (near the hospital, senior center and nursing homes),” adding that it could be somewhere in Gadsden County where it would not hurt anybody.
The issue passed for the non-binding conceptual approval in a 4-1 vote with Taylor voting against the measure.
In other business, the board approved a special exception to allow alcoholic beverages and an 864-square foot deck expansion at Country Boys Oyster Bar and Pub.
The business plans to sell food and alcholic beverages and offer live entertainment.
The property is located at 38 Alma Yates Street off of Cook’s Landing Road near Lake Talquin.