Bishopville Closer To A Deal With Carolina Metal

BISHOPVILLE – The Bishopville City Council is going forward with extending an option to a Bishopville industry interested in buying property owned by the city of Bishopville and Lee County.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council gave first reading to an ordinance that would extend an option to Carolina Metal Finishing Co. to purchase the building located behind the National Guard Armory. The Lee County Parks and Recreation Department is currently using the building for storage.

The council took the action following an executive session with Lee County Economic Alliance Executive Director Jeff Burgess.

Carolina Metal acquired the National Guard Armory from the city and county a couple of years ago and had an option to buy the building behind the armory. The option ends in November, and the company is asking for an extension of one year until November 2010, Burgess said

Carolina Metal Finishing Co., a subsidiary of Paramount Metal Finishing, currently employs 25 people in a powder metal coating operation at the old armory facility, Burgess said.

“They want to expand and put in another line,” Burgess said. “They are looking at the expansion for either the Bishopville facility or in New Jersey.”

The expansion would likely add 10 to 25 jobs to the Bishopville operation, Burgess said.

The council is expected to give second reading and final approval to the option extension at its next meeting.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, council held a budget workshop to discuss the needs for fiscal year 2009-2010. Council met with Street Superintendent Jerry Adams and Finance Director Suzette Robinson to discuss their department needs. At a workshop in April, the council met with Utilities Director Mike Deas to discuss needs in the water and sewer departments.

The purpose of the budget workshop meetings is to identify priority needs and to estimate expected revenue, Bishopville City Administrator Gregg McCutchen said.

“Everybody is trying to be very frugal about their budgets,” McCutchen said. “They are not coming in asking for the sky.”

The city council holds meetings or workshops at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Colclough Building on East Council Street.