Watchdog Report Craven County Board of Commissioners Meeting, 18Apr16-Moen Performance Grant

WATCHDOG REPORT- Craven County Board of Commissioners Meeting- 18 April 2016
CCTA advocates minimum government. This meeting shows that is not true of our Craven County Board of Commissioners.  This was made absolutely certain by the actions of staff and Board Members when the agenda item “Departmental Matters: Economic Development – Budget Amendment” was taken up.

The Presenter was Timothy Downs, Craven County Economic Director. Mr. Downs simply stated that the first installment of the grant is due upon Moen’s full occupancy and operation of the new facility and that Moen will occupy and operate the new facility in April 2016.  He requested that the money be moved from the Economic Development reserve account in order to pay the first installment of the performance grant to Moen.

Mr. Downs did state that conditions would be met. He did not say what they were nor how he knew they would be met this month. Maybe he had briefed Board Members privately, but not at the public meeting.

Nor did he mention that the amount of money to be received by Moen is $500,000! This can be seen at attachment #8 of the agenda. Nor did he mention that is the first installment on a $650,000 grant.

I checked those conditions. They are: SST Properties, LLC has obtained a non-temporary certificate of occupancy for the new facility, SST Properties, LLC has completed construction of the new facility, SST Properties has provided Moen with actual possession of the New Facility and Lots 13 & 14, and Moen has obtained all governmental licenses and approvals necessary to occupy and operate the new facility.

Article IV of this agreement states that Moen will fill at least 75 full-time equivalent positions within 180 days of the new facility delivery date. HOW MANY OF THESE JOBS WILL MERELY TRANSFER FROM THE KINSTON FACILITY?  Read the entire agreement HERE.

AND WHO IS SST PROPERTIES, LLC.? It is the company that got the 21.5 acre tract FROM THE COUNTY at the bargain price of $258,000 when its stated value was $430,000 as an incentive to broker the deal with Moen.

HOW MUCH DID AND WILL MOEN PAY SST Properties?  In a Sun Journal article Sue Book said SST Properties is a Greensboro-based corporation that was founded Aug 14 2006 by Arthur L Samut.  More about him HERE.  He has registered 13 corporations with the NC Secretary of State dating back as far as 1995. Can’t these people create jobs without taxpayer support? Do you see why “crony Capitalism works against the taxpayer? The grant money and the discounts, a total of $822,000 was provided by the taxpayers hoping to gain 75 jobs paying an average of $619 per week. HIGH RISK WITH OTHER PEOPLES MONEY!

Respectfully submitted,
Hal James
CCTA Watchdog Committee Chairman

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