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Oconee County has officially validated the sale of bonds in the amount of $16 million so that Costco can begin construction this year. 

Costco plans to open a 155,146-square-foot store perpendicular to Hobby Lobby at Epps Bridge II in the summer of 2022. 

The bonds will finance site improvements on the property, such as drainage ponds, parking lot surfacing, street lights, a traffic signal and other infrastructure. Costco will pay for the construction of the building itself. 

The bonds were part of several incentives to entice the large warehouse retailer. The other component was a

property tax abatement for 15 years. 

County Attorney Daniel Haygood said at an earlier meeting that Caterpillar was given a longer tax abatement but at around 50 percent, rather than the full exemption that will be given to Costco. 

However, unlike Caterpillar, Costco will generate an annual $3 million in sales tax dollars, or $4 million if TSPLOST passes, in the first couple years, explained Haygood. 

“Oconee is the smallest community to ever see a Costco with expected $94 million the first year in sales with an estimated 8 percent increase each year,” according to minutes from the Aug. 24 Board of Commissioners meeting when the announcement was made.

For more on this story, see the Oct. 7 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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