DADE CITY — Pasco county commissioners on Tuesday approved incentives worth $177,172 to entice a local business to expand its operations by building its new manufacturing facility in Wesley Chapel.
The Soule Company plans to build the new medical supply facility on a 7.7-acre parcel in Compark 75 for approximately $8 million, according to the county staff report to commissioners.
The new manufacturing site would create 25 full-time jobs, earning the company job-creation incentive funding. The total of direct and indirect employment created by 2023 would amount to 220 jobs, and the new facility is expected to contribute $4.69 million to the gross county product.
“The return on investment is very substantial,” said David Engel, Pasco County’s economic growth manager.
The Soule Company first incorporated in Florida in 1956. The new building, next to its existing facility, will manufacture patient positioning products fashioned out of foam.
“Our company has seen significant growth recently, and I am very proud we are able to build an additional facility and expand in Pasco County,” said Jerry Flatt, chief executive officer of The Soule Company in a news release after Tuesday’s vote.
Bill Cronin, executive director for the Pasco Economic Development Council, told the Tampa Bay Times that this type of business expansion is a big part of what the council does.
Through these sorts of expansions, Cronin said it proves the county works with businesses already located in the area, and “we’re not just trying to get them through the door’' but are committed to help businesses succeed.
Cronin said this expansion is also beneficial because life science is one of Pasco’s targeted industries.
The Soule Company, Cronin said, offers the kind of competitive-wage jobs that the county hopes will keep Pasco residents now driving south to work each day closer to home. It’s a part of economic development that helps the county in many ways.
Cronin said county commissioners often talk about trying to move Pasco away from being a bedroom community for Tampa, but there is a real dollars and cents logic behind that.
For each dollar a Pasco resident pays in property tax, a residential property costs the county $1.20 to provide services like roads, utilities and schools. For commercial property, it only costs the county 80 cents to provide those needed services. And for manufacturing, just 20 cents.
“It behooves us to have a good mix of businesses and, especially, manufacturing,” he said. “This helps us offset that tax burden.”