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4228Type of Legislation: Concurrent Resolution CRIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20010531Primary Sponsor: KennedyAll Sponsors: Kennedy, Harvin and SnowDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\gjk\20758sd01.docDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 20010605Subject: Williamsburg County, ResolutionsHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 20010605 Received from Senate Senate 20010604 Introduced, adopted, returned with concurrence House 20010531 Introduced, adopted, sent to Senate Versions of This Bill
TO RECOGNIZE AND CONGRATULATE WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY ON ITS OUTSTANDING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUCCESS DURING THE YEAR 2000 AND DURING THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.
Whereas, Williamsburg County is a county of approximately thirty-seven thousand five hundred citizens located in the Pee Dee area of the State whose economy has been historically based on farming and apparel manufacturing; and
Whereas, the economy of Williamsburg County was devastated by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1992. The county enjoyed an unemployment rate during the 1980's that ranged from five to six percent. After the signing of NAFTA, that rate jumped to twenty-three percent within a few years. The county lost approximately one thousand two hundred jobs when Baxter's, a long-time manufacturer of surgical gloves and the county's largest employer, moved out. The county lost three thousand three hundred more jobs as several dozen other businesses closed, downsized, or moved overseas; and
Whereas, under NAFTA labor-intensive manufacturers in countries like Mexico and Argentina can produce the same products much more cheaply and without providing benefits. In addition, they can avoid tariffs, taxes, and fees and ship their goods back to the United States for sale; and
Whereas, to reverse these effects several important steps were taken in the county. At the instigation of the county council in 1996, the citizens voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to allow the county to enter the water and sewer business. The county subsequently passed a franchise ordinance that has permitted the county to form the Williamsburg County Development Corporation for the purpose of creating an industrial park. This corporation is a public-private quasi-governmental agency which includes nine board members and ninety-two members. The agency's membership consists of county council members, municipal council members, business leaders, school board members, and other local leaders; and
Whereas, the first objective of Williamsburg County Development Corporation was to create an industrial park. Since the agency's formation it has collaborated with a local development team to formulate long-range plans for economic development at the park and in the county in cooperation with interested local cooperatives and entities; and
Whereas, obtaining loans and grants, creating the proposal, and selecting the site for the industrial park was a two-year process. In 1999, after Williamsburg County received a permit from the Department of Health and Environmental Control to establish the industrial park, the county finally built it. The four million dollar industrial park is named the Williamsburg Cooperative Commerce Center; and
Whereas, as a result of these efforts two first-class companies have moved to the industrial park, four other businesses announced during 2000 that they would be moving into Williamsburg County, and today sixty-two businesses call Williamsburg County "home" making the year 2000 a truly turnaround year for the county and its economy; and
Whereas, the members of the General Assembly, by this resolution, would like to publicly recognize and congratulate the county, its governing body, those agencies and entities that worked with the county to improve it, the companies and industries that have elected to locate in the county, and lastly and most importantly, the outstanding people of Williamsburg County for their collective success in this amazing economic turnaround. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly recognize and congratulate Williamsburg County on its outstanding economic growth and success during the year 2000 and during the last several years.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Williamsburg County Council and the Economic Development Office of Williamsburg County.
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