The Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday night was a little sweeter than usual.
Commissioners and audience members got to taste Hi-Chews, the Starburst-like Japanese candies that might be produced in the county as early as May 2015.
The board passed a resolution commending Project Rainbow, the code name for the company’s multi-state confidential visit looking for sites, and passed around a bowl of the fruit chew candies.
County manager Frank Clifton said the Japanese confectionary company Morinaga America could break ground in Mebane as early as March.
Clifton said the next step in the process is to hold a public hearing. He said the hearing could occur in the beginning of October.
Commissioners expressed excitement over the positive impact they think the factory will have on the county’s economy.
The factory is expected to produce at least 90 jobs.
“This is a company that offers good salaries and good benefits,” said Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier.
“Until recently, we have been thinking that Orange County has not been offering incentives to stay here or move here,” said Commissioner Barry Jacobs.
Commissioner Earl McKee said this is a good step toward stimulating further economic growth in the area.
“This shouldn’t be viewed as a one-time shot in the dark,” he said.
The commissioners asked county staff to review its policy on the types of vehicles allowed at solid waste convenience centers. Pelissier said a citizen told her his truck weighed over the current weight limit but its dimensions were no larger than those of an SUV.
“We need to review what is working and what needs improving,” said McKee.
“This list, even though it’s long, is necessary to have a really well-rounded discussion,” said Commissioner Renee Price about the 18 positions on a county work group that will study jail alternative programs.
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