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Lincoln’s Timken Plant Vying for Projects

Lincolnton’s Timken Company is competing for three projects that could reel in up to $16.3 million in industrial investments and create at least 44 jobs. The Lincolnton Bearing Plant is in competition with Timken plants across the country and around the world for three individual projects. Timken currently has operations in 24 countries. The projects deal with the installation of manufacturing equipment, specifically rail bearings and packaged bearings. Two of the projects involve the manufacturing of packaged bearings. Lincolnton Timken officials Wayne Lowe and Scott Abernathy said it is not yet known when the company will make the decision about awarding those projects. The other project will be the installation of a rotary former, which takes a slug of steel and forms a bearing. The decision regarding this project could be known as early as July. Lincoln County is hoping to influence Timken’s decision with an incentives package. Laura Foor, existing business coordinator for the Lincoln Economic Development Association, presented three sample incentive grant agreements to Lincoln commissioners Monday. Each project warrants different incentives and promises variable investment agreements. Commissioners unanimously approved the resolutions, hoping the total $250,000 incentives will entice Timken to choose Lincolnton. Lincolnton could be awarded all of the projects, or any combination of the three. The first agreement states that Timken’s minimum investment in the project will be $2.5 million. Timken will provide at least four new $18 per-hour jobs within two years. In exchange for these investments, the county will give Timken a $7,052 cash grant each year for five years beginning in 2004. The second agreement promises Timken $10, 155 per year for five years starting in 2005, provided that Timken makes a minimum $3.6 million investment. This project will create at least 20 new jobs paying $18 per hour. The third agreement requires Timken to make an investment of at least $10.2 million and create at least 20 jobs, also paying $18 per hour. The county will provide a $33,201 cash grant per year for a five-year period, the first year being 2006. Each agreement is dependent upon Lincolnton being chosen for the projects. “Timken companies all over are trying to win,” Foor said. “The grants are good incentives to award the projects to them (Lincolnton).” Lowe and Abernathy said the incentives do help when a company is competing for projects. The Timken Company is based out of Canton, Ohio. Timken is a leading manufacturer of highly engineered bearings, alloy and specialty steels and components, as well as related products and services. The Lincolnton plant makes the steel bearings for trucks, SUV’s and farm equipment.