BISHOPVILLE – The Lee County Council is on the fast track to take action that will enable a local industry to expand its operation.
The Lee County Council is expected to give second reading to a fee in lieu agreement concerning Project Solution at a called meeting at 9:15 a.m. today at the Lee County Courthouse.
Biological Solutions, located at 310 Truman Road in the former Dorby Frocks building, is planning to expand its operation at its current facility.
Biological Solutions, owned by Benny and Amie Maresca, has been in operation in Bishopville for almost three years. The industry, which currently employs about 20 workers, manufactures safe cleaning products, food additives and flavoring products, according to Benny Maresca.
Maresca said the expansion will result in as many as 60 new jobs and will represent an investment of about $4 million.
“This has been a team effort,” Maresca said. “We have received great support from the county and the state. This expansion is going to take a lot of money in infrastructure, equipment and training. We will be able to invest in the expansion and not spend the money on taxes.”
Details of the fee in lieu agreement will be released at a public hearing scheduled at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 at the Lee County Courthouse, according to Lee County Economic Alliance Director Jeff Burgess.
Lee County Administrator Alan Watkins said the council is expected to give final approval to the agreement following the public hearing.
Burgess said the new jobs created by the expansion will provide salaries above the average county wage, which is $10.50 hour.
“They want to begin construction on the renovations during the first quarter,” Burgess said. “And they want to begin the hiring process soon. We are working to have a job fair in Bishopville for the industry. We want as many of the jobs to stay in Lee County as possible.”
Maresca said the company has established strong relationships with private and government businesses throughout the state.
“We want to attract government business,” he said.
The location of Biological Solutions in a depressed area with high unemployment works to the company’s favor, he said.
First reading approval of the Project Solution agreement was given by council at its regular meeting on Tuesday.
“This is something really important for the county, and we want to get this done as quickly as possible to allow Biological Solutions to begin work on the expansion,” Watkins said.
In May, Biological Solutions was recognized by the state for its performance in hiring people with disabilities. The company was named Small Employer of the Year by the South Carolina Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
Watkins also announced the county is in the process of buying a facility located at the James Industrial Park, where it plans to relocate its EMS department.