Planned Hyundai plant gets first nod

Jennifer Shrader Staff writer

September 4, 2013

Three hundred more jobs are coming to West Point and Troup County.

The Troup County Commission this morning approved a memorandum of understanding for the proposed Hyundai plant in West Point.

It is the first step in making the plant official – the payment in lieu of taxes agreement must also be approved by West Point City Council and the Troup County School Board.

The $35 million plant is slated to be built in the next two years on Kia Parkway, just north of the West Point Fire Station, and bring 300 new jobs within the first two years of production.

News of the plant broke late last month when the same agreement was on the agenda for the Troup County Board of Education to approve Aug. 15, but was dropped from the agenda that morning.

The English language version of South Korean news website The Chosun Ilbo reported Aug. 26 that Gov. Nathan Deal met with Hyundai group chairman Chung Mong-koo in August. On Aug. 23 Hyundai made an official announcement for the plant, according to the news site.

The agreement allows the project to be a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes project, meaning it will pay a set fee over a period of time instead of ad valorem property taxes. After local governments sign off on the project, Hyundai officials will need to sign the contract before it is official.

Plans also called for the West Point Development Authority issuing the $35 million in bonds for the project.

The plant would build seats for a new model of vehicle to be produced at the Kia plant. It eventually also will manufacture powertrains for vehicles produced there, according to the contract.

– News Editor Matthew Strother contributed to this report.