YORK COUNTY, S.C. — York County leaders on Monday approved deals that will bring two huge businesses to the county.
One is Silfab Solar, a solar panel manufacturer moving into a Fort Mill facility. The other is a massive data center by Quality Technology Services near Lake Wylie. Both tax deals will bring hundreds of jobs and more than $1 billion of investment into York County, but one of the deals is getting pushback.
Some Fort Mill residents are sharing concerns over what a future solar panel plant would bring along with it, including HAPs – or hazardous air pollutants.
"Manufacturing with HAPs needs to be further away from children," Fort Mill resident Danielle Graham said.
York County Council approved giving Silfab Solar a tax break Monday so it can move into the facility, but neighbors were hoping to see the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's report on its water and air quality impacts first.
"Hopefully DHEC will address any air quality issues, DHEC will address any water issues -- but don’t expect this board to hold up a fee in lieu based off what DHEC is yet to determine," Councilman William "Bump" Roddey said.
Silfab promises to create 800 jobs and invest $150 million into the county.
"Unless we have major tax reform in South Carolina, quality industry is needed in our area for investment and jobs," York County resident Mark Howie said.
Some residents support both Silfab and the QTS data center, which will take up hundreds of acres of rural land off Hands Mill Highway.
"This is a huge win for York County," York County Council Chair Christi Cox said. "I believe it’s the largest scale investment that we've had.”
The data center, formerly known as Project Cobra, will only create a handful of jobs but expects to invest more than $1 billion into York County.
“QTS is excited to come to York County and we’re looking forward to getting started,” Ryan Wayman, with QTS, said.
Council members said Silfab Solar still needs permits from DHEC before it can begin operations.