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Possible additional investment by Kimberly-Clark locally on County Council meeting agenda

February 19, 2019 GMT

The Kimberly-Clark Corporation is considering making an additional capital investment of more than $100 million locally.

And Aiken County Council could make it more attractive financially for the company to do so.

During its meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Aiken County Government Center, County Council is scheduled to hear and vote on the second reading of an ordinance that would authorize a fee in lieu of tax and incentive agreement between the county and Kimberly-Clark.

The company has a mill in Beech Island that celebrated the 50th anniversary of its operations there in 2018.

The facility manufactures products for a variety of Kimberly-Clark brands, including Huggies Diapers, Pull-Ups training pants, GoodNites bed-wetting underwear, Cottonelle and Scott bathroom tissue, Scott and Viva paper towels, Kleenex facial tissue and Cottonelle and Scott flushable wipes.

According to the ordinance, Kimberly Clark would invest “at least $115 million” to establish and/or expand “certain facilities” if the plans for its new initiative “proceed as expected.”

County Council Chairman Gary Bunker said the money would be spent on “plant upgrades.”

In an email to the Aiken Standard, Will Williams, president and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties wrote that the improvements would be made at the Beech Island site.

“This good news because over the last 12 months Kimberly-Clark has announced closures at some of their facilities,” Williams added.

Also on the agenda for County Council’s meeting is the second reading of an ordinance that would repeal another ordinance passed 6-3 by the panel last June. That previous ordinance authorized the county to sell its 9.3-acre property where the old Aiken County Hospital is located to the Marian Group of Kentucky for $1.1 million.

In January, the Marian Group withdrew its applications to the City of Aiken to redevelop the old Aiken County Hospital land and stopped pursuing its plan to purchase the property from the county.

The old Aiken County Hospital site is on Richland Avenue West.

In addition, the agenda for County Council’s meeting includes the third and final reading of an ordinance that would authorize the county to accept the conveyance, by deed, of property in Graniteville from the Wyatt Realty Investment Opportunity Fund Ltd.

The property consists of two pieces of land in Sage Mill Industrial Park that a portion of Dragon Lair Road runs between.

The county believes relocating that section of Dragon Lair Road and combining the two pieces of property for marketing purposes would make the land more attractive for economic development projects.

County Council’s meeting will be held in Council Chambers, which is on the third floor of the Government Center.

The address for the Government Center is 1930 University Parkway.