From WCTI12


New economic incentives are keeping one of Martin County’s largest manufacturers and taxpayers in the area.

The Domtar Plymouth Paper Mill is staying in Martin County, according to city officials.

Martin County Manager David Bone says it took nearly a year for the county and the company to reach an agreement, which comes with incentives for the mill.

“If we didn’t make this incentive package,” he explains, “They may have chosen to locate these improvements in one of their other facilities in another community.”

He says county commissioners passed the economic incentives last week.

The incentives, according to Bone, are essentially a tax cut.

The company must invest $90 million into the Domtar plant, but 70 percent of the taxes on the investment will be reimbursed.

He also says the incentive comes with stipulations. If the mill closes within the next eight years, the money must be paid back. The deal is also off if the plant does not employ 30 full-time employees with $64,000 salaries.

“Folks that work at that facility come from Martin County; they come from Washington County; they come from Chowan County; they come from Pitt County,” Bone explains. “So, it really benefits our entire region when we have an industry making this sizable investment in our community.”

Domtar says the company is committed to staying in eastern North Carolina.

“Through this agreement with Martin County, we will be able to further improve the efficiencies of the mill’s assets and reduce costs,” the company says in a statement. “These investments are part of a broader strategy across our pulp network to optimize our pulp operations to remain competitive in a global market.”

Bone says the mill must make the $90 million investment in new equipment and improvements over the next four years.