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Decision expected soon on 'Project Tango'

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SECRET DEVELOPMENT COURTED LOCALLY

After more than a month of secret planning, Project Tango may be approaching a big reveal as city and county officials provide a few details on the clandestine project that could bring a new corporation to Lebanon and Wilson County and up to 1,700 jobs as well.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said the company that could locate here has two opportunities in the community. While Hutto would not elaborate on the specifics of the opportunities, he did note that one could bring 400 to 500 jobs while the second could supply between 1,000 and 1,200 jobs.

There are a couple of options there within Project Tango, Hutto said.

Hutto and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead have been very reserved in revealing information about Project Tango since its inception. Craighead said they have been working on the project for some time and hope to land at least one of the opportunities.

We are hoping to hear something very soon, he said. If we get it, it could bring several hundred jobs.

Hutto indicated the company contacted city and county leaders more than a month ago about moving into Wilson County. Since that time, the companys name has been kept secret as well as the nature of the jobs it could bring. Hutto said the jobs the company would bring with it have an average hourly compensation of around $16.50.

Lebanon and Wilson County are in competition with several other cities and counties, Hutto said, adding the local community could land one or both opportunities from the company.

A chance for job opportunities is there and thats a good thing for us and for our citizens, Hutto said.

Hutto and Craighead noted that Project Tango has been a coordinated effort between the two governments and the Joint Economic &Community Development Board of Wilson County.

G.C. Hixson has been heading up the charge for Wilson County, Hutto said. Hixson is the executive director of the JECDB.

Hixson felt the company would reach a decision on where to locate within the next 30 days at the most. He said it could be as early as two weeks when a decision is made. Hixson indicated the company was a well-known domestic corporation, but could offer no further details on its identity.

The company would build a new facility within the Lebanon city limits, Hixson said, adding the companys timeline for construction called for a facility to be completed by October or November 2012. Hutto indicated the company is looking at locations that were in a good proximity to Mt. Juliet and Lebanon.

Were still in discussion with their engineering and construction companies, Hixson said.

He also pointed out Wilson County Commission and Lebanon City Council approved an incentives package for the company, including payments in lieu of taxes to encourage them to locate in Lebanon.

By offering incentives, Hixson said Lebanon and Wilson County have been able to stay at the forefront of possible locations for the company. With several counties and cities in the running, those incentives have made Wilson look appealing.

That has allowed us to stay in a competitive position, Hixson said of the incentives.

By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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