Barrette Outdoor Living was granted an estimated $282,750 in new incentives, approved by county commissioners during the regular Board of County Commissioners meeting held on Oct 12, 2021. The new incentives, approved in June of this year, called the Economic Development Investment Incentive, requires that the company meet certain criteria with regard to workforce and wages, and be current on county taxes before they are reimbursed the incentive amount. The new incentives will mitigate building permit fees and impact fees.
The incentive funds will come from impact fees slated for the county’s General Fund, and will not affect Impact Fees due to the school board, or any other agency.
Barrette will also be assigned EPIC (Expedited Permitting, Inspection and Certification) status to reduce their time from permit submission to certificate of occupancy. The EPIC Program is a Hernando county policy (43-01) that sets criteria such as type of industry, average wage, number of jobs created, and capital investment.
Barrette’s Hernando expansion plans are to invest $10 million in a new 175,000 square foot facility at the Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV) Rail Park, where the company will have direct access to the CSX Rail Service and create 150 new jobs, which will pay 100% of Hernando’s average annual wage of $36,749. Ten of the positions will have wages 115% over the average. The company also plans a $19 million dollar investment in equipment for the new building.
“That is just a start,” Economic Development Director Valerie Pianta said, “If history is going to repeat itself, it’s going to continue on in that vein,” noting later that Barrette first came to the county with 90 jobs.
Barrette currently occupies over 300,000 square feet of space at BKV. Pianta reported that they are a leading provider of wood, vinyl, and aluminum fencing nationwide. Nationally, they employ over 1,100 people.
Including temporary workers, over 350 of those employees are in Hernando County.
Barrette Vice President of Operations Gary Williams came from his Knoxville office to express his gratitude to the county. Williams reports nationwide growth in several states, including acquisitions of companies in Utah and Maryland. “This was a competitive situation. We had the opportunity to build a new facility in a lot of locations, obviously Brooksville and the county, we’ve had a great relationship here, and with a great workforce, and a great location, this became our decision.”
Williams expects the new plastic extrusion facility to be expandable. It will manufacture plastic and PVC fencing for the commercial and retail markets.