FLORENCE, S.C. — A company that may have been set to invest $100 million in Florence County is closing one of its Florence facilities instead.
A spokeswoman for Clarios, a company operating a distribution and battery recycling facility in Florence, told multiple media outlets that the company is preparing to close its recycling facility on March 22.
Clarios employs approximately 350 people at the recycling facility.
Those employees could be offered a severance package or the opportunity to relocate to other company plants, including one in Oconee County.
It is possible that before the decision to close the plant was made, the company was in the process of receiving a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Florence County to expand both of its facilities near Florence.
The third and final reading of an ordinance authorizing a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with a company known to the county as Project Lighting Bolt was deferred for the second consecutive month Thursday morning by the county council.
A source later told the Morning News that the ordinance probably would not be moving forward.
The ordinance describes an investment of $100 million, including $75 million at a distribution facility and $25 million at a recycling facility. These investments would bring 80 new jobs at the distribution center and 20 new jobs at the recycling center, according to the ordinance.
The ordinance also describes the company as having acquired an entity in 2019 that had two previous fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreements with Florence County. Those agreements were signed in 2011 and 2007, according to the ordinance.
Johnson Controls sold its power solutions business to a Canadian company that remade the business into Clarios in May 2019.
The ordinance also describes the 2011 fee-in-lieu-of agreement as the company agreeing to invest $150 million and create 250 new jobs in the county.
The Morning News reviewed the agendas for the 2011 meetings of the Florence County Council and was able to locate one fee-in-lieu-of agreement that matched the numbers described in the ordinance currently before the county council.
On June 16, 2011, the Florence County Council approved a fee-in-lieu-of agreement with Johnson Controls Battery Group — the battery group was part of Johnson Control's power solutions business — that calls for the company to make an investment of $155 million and create 264 new jobs in the county.
The Morning News also determined that the county council voted to approve a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with Johnson Controls Battery Group on Dec. 6, 2007.
Information provided to the Morning News prior to the 2011 establishment of the recycling center indicates that the facility established in 2007 is a distribution center.