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      Deal to bring 400 jobs to Dillon County in the works

      The spec building in Dillon County where "Project Wilma" could locate and bring more than 400 jobs to the county.

      Dillon County Council passed second reading Wednesday on a tax incentive agreement for a company that could bring more than 400 jobs to the county, according to Dillon County Economic Development Partnership Director Tonny McNeil.

      McNeil said they're calling it "Project Wilma" because they can't release the name of the company due to confidentiality agreements that are in place.

      He added the jobs are well-paying, averaging between $18 and $20 an hour.

      The company is looking to locate in the county's newly built spec building on Caldwell Drive off of I-95 in Dillon.

      He said the building is 50,000 square feet, but expandable to 300,000.

      McNeil believes its location is ideal for the company.

      "Having a spec building was very instrumental in recruiting this company. The building located off of the interstate and it's close proximity to international airports," said McNeil.

      He added there are quite a few international airports within 150 miles of the spec building, including the Myrtle Beach International Airport and the Charleston International Airport.

      McNeil said they've been working on "Project Wilma" for the past year and have put a lot of time and energy into the project.

      County council hopes to pass third and final reading on the tax incentive agreement September 2 and at that time the name of the company will be announced, McNeil said.

      Dillon County had the fourth highest unemployment rate in South Carolina in June, at 8.6%.

      Earlier this year, the Dillon County Economic Development Public Private Partnership Board unveiled the county's new logo, "Alive On I-95."

      County, state and federal leaders helped work on the campaign to attract more jobs to Dillon County.

      McNeil believes the campaign is working and will ultimately prove to change the tide, in terms of economic development.

      "When you create an opportunity for folks everything gets better. The quality of life, crime goes down. It's all a mindset," said McNeil.

      We will continue to provide updates on Project Wilma as new information is made available.