EXTRA! Gov. McAuliffe Visits Bayshore, Brings Check
By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave
February 5, 2014
Newly elected Governor Terry McAuliffe came to town yesterday bearing a gift — a $150,000 grant for Bayshore Concrete Products in return for creating 135 jobs. The expansion at Bayshore comes after a debilitating dry spell: Bayshore General Manager Chad Saunders noted that in 2012, production was down by half. And in 2013 things got even worse: Bayshore poured only 20 percent of its normal amount of concrete.
All that is changing now that Bayshore has won some big contracts: Great Egg Harbor Bridge in New Jersey, the Bayonne Bridge between Bayonne, NJ, and Staten Island, NY, and most recently for New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge. In order to ship larger concrete products out of Cape Charles, Bayshore is spending $4 million on harbor infrastructure.
Northampton Economic Development Director Charles McSwain said that for Bayshore to qualify for the state grant money, both Northampton County and the Town of Cape Charles had to “partner” in the endeavor by providing their own tax incentives to Bayshore. The county and the town will “forgive” Bayshore the increased property taxes for 10 years that it otherwise would pay on up to $1.8 million of infrastructure improvements. Based on current tax rates, that translates to $12,000 county annual tax relief and $5,000 for the town, for a total over 10 years of $170,000.
In December the Town of Cape Charles also awarded Bayshore Concrete a “stimulus grant” that will refund to the company the increased machinery and tools tax it otherwise would pay on its infrastructure improvements. Town Manager Heather Arcos told the Wave she estimates the value to Bayshore in town tax credits at roughly $10,000 a year for five years. The total tax relief package for Bayshore from the town and the county equals about $220,000.
“Things are looking up,” said County Chairman Larry LeMond, “after a difficult last five years.” As Vice President of Bay Coast Railroad, LeMond has every reason to be pleased: Bay Coast Railroad is largely dependent on business from Bayshore, as the cement to cast concrete products arrives on Bay Coast rail cars.
The arrival of the governor shut down Bayshore operations for a couple of hours as every employee gathered at a tent set up for the ceremony. When McAuliffe spoke the magic word “jobs,” the employees clapped and cheered.
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The state grant recognizes that Bayshore Concrete successfully competed against bids from Maryland, New Jersey, and New York for the bridge contracts. That’s a huge improvement from 1995 when Bayshore failed to win the concrete contract for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel expansion only a few miles away. Bayshore was built in order to produce precast concrete products for the original Bridge-Tunnel, which opened in 1964.
CLICK HERE to see video of the Governor’s announcement produced by the Eastern Shore News.