Termite Lawyer in Jonesville, SC

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When you choose CDH for a termite damage attorney in Jonesville, SC, you can rest easy knowing you're in confident, capable hands. Clients trust our law firm for termite damage cases because we have:

  • A Demonstrated Playbook of Strategies
  • A Proven Track Record of Successful Termite Cases
  • Substantial Termite Evidence Lockers with Experts and Depositions
  • Experience Handling Cases Across the Southeast United States
  • Manuals for Many Major Termite Control Companies

Unlike some termite damage law firms, our lawyers study the practices and policies of large termite control and home inspection companies. We use creative strategies to avoid unfair arbitration clauses and have devoted real resources to solving our client's claims.

Simply put, you can trust our termite damage attorneys with your case because we genuinely care about you as our client.

Whether you're a homeowner, commercial property owner, or a homeowner's association, know that you're not alone. If termites are causing damage to your property, don't let giant pest control chains or home inspection franchises take advantage of you. The cost of repairs should fall where it should - on the shoulders of the home inspection company, pest control company, or their insurers.

What Are the Signs of Termite Damage?

It's not always easy to spot the signs of termite damage, especially if you're an average person without much knowledge of the termite species. Plus, termites often wreak havoc in unseen areas like drywall, siding, and the framing of your house, so seeing damage isn't always easy. Despite those challenges, there are some common signs and areas for you to consider.

Some common signs of termite damage include:

  • Termite Swarms in Your Home
  • Discarded Termite Wings in Crawlspaces, Attics, or Other Areas
  • Small Holes or Pin Pricks in Walls
  • Mud Tunnels Running Along the Outer Walls of Your House
  • Dirt Falling Out of Cracks, Power Outlets, or Holes in Walls
  • Warped Doors and Windows

Some of the most common areas where termites do damage include:

  • In and Around Chimneys
  • Around the Bases of Outside Walls
  • In the Floors or Walls of Your Attic
  • In Your Crawlspace
  • Laundry, Bath, and Utility Rooms
  • The Floors and Sinks of Your Kitchen or Bathroom
  • Hollowed Out Wooden Areas Around Your Home

What Should I Do if I Find Termite Damage?

If you find termite damage in your home, it's best not to try and fix it yourself. Why? First, repairing damage from termites is a complicated, painstaking endeavor that requires a skilled, tedious approach. Spotting termite damage and knowing how to fix it requires a deep knowledge of how termites behave and live to get rid of them. Second, and perhaps most importantly, taking a DIY approach to termite damage may ruin your termite lawsuit.

That's true even if you have the skills and experience to do so. You might inadvertently destroy important evidence that is key to your case, which may ruin your chances of compensation for damages and poor work. Instead of trying to repair damage on your own, get a second opinion from a trusted inspector. Once your concerns are verified, it's time to call CDH Law Firm. Our experienced termite damage attorneys will dig into your case and discover if you're one of the thousands of people with grounds for filing a termite lawsuit.

Who Is at Fault for Termite Damage?

We get this question often at CDH Law Firm, though the answer is sometimes unclear. What we do know is that if you're looking for the max amount of compensation, we'll need to discover who was at fault. In some cases, it's easy to determine fault. For example, if you're a new homeowner, and a termite inspector or seller didn't inform you of an infestation, you may have grounds to sue.

However, things get more complex if you rent a home or bought a residence many years ago and have been using a pest control company for termite infestation. You could have grounds for a case against the pest control company, your landlord, or a different third party, depending on the circumstances of your case. That's why working with a termite attorney in Jonesville, SC is so important - so they can investigate the details and damages associated with your infestation and determine who is accountable.

10 Common Excuses for Avoiding Termite Damage Liability

If you have trusted your home with a pest control company and encounter a termite issue, you might not get the help you expect, even if your claim is legitimate. With years of experience fighting big pest control companies and their insurers, we've heard just about every excuse in the book. If you're dealing with a termite problem, be wary if you hear any of the following excuses.

  • 01.The contract you signed releases our company of any liability.
  • 02.We can't help unless you sign a brand-new contract.
  • 03.There's moisture around the damaged areas of your home. We aren't responsible.
  • 04.We're under no obligation to discover hidden termite damage.
  • 05.We won't review your bond unless your property is re-treated.
  • 06.We don't have to pay because you have a re-treat-only contract.
  • 07.You need to pay for re-treatment because our chemicals or pesticides have worn off.
  • 08.You dug up our chemical barrier. Your infestation is not our fault.
  • 09.Our insurance company won't pay you. If you have a complaint, take it up with them.
  • 10.We'll cover the cost of fixing damage, but we won't open walls to see if more damage is present.

However, things get more complex if you rent a home or bought a residence many years ago and have been using a pest control company for termite infestation. You could have grounds for a case against the pest control company, your landlord, or a different third party, depending on the circumstances of your case. That's why working with a termite attorney in Jonesville, SC is so important - so they can investigate the details and damages associated with your infestation and determine who is accountable.

Negligence

Can I Sue a Home Inspector for Negligence?

If your home inspector did not uphold their duties and obligations to you as the home buyer, you could most certainly sue a home inspector.

Unless your termite infestation was new when your home was inspected, it would be hard for a home inspector to miss it. If you just bought a house and you have discovered damage or signs of a termite infestation, contact CHSA Law today. Our team of termite damage attorneys may be able to prove that your inspector failed at spotting and reporting termite issues in your new home.

However, proving negligence is easier said than done without a lawyer by your side. Termite inspectors aren't always expected to find every bit of termite damage, and they're often not the final say in whether your home is damage-free. That's why, with CDH Law Firm as your advocate, we'll ask the hard-hitting questions needed to discover if your inspector missed termite damage for legitimate reasons or if they were careless and negligent. We'll help facilitate a second inspection if needed and will work tirelessly to earn you the compensation you deserve.

Breach

Can I Sue a Home Inspector for Breach of Contract?

You should know that even if your home inspector is legally negligent for missing termite damage or infestations, their liability will often be limited due to the language in their contract.

If your lawsuit doesn't have the proper foundation to prove negligence, your termite damage lawyer in Jonesville, SC may be able to win compensation via breach of contract. In many circumstances, this is the best route to take if it's easier to prove that an inspector violated a contract. For example, suppose the home inspection contract you signed called for a whole-home inspection, and the inspector failed to survey your crawlspace or attic. In that case, you may have a viable claim in court.

At CDH Law Firm, we understand that every termite damage case situation is different. As such, we approach every case with a nuanced, multi-faceted strategy crafted with your best interests in mind.

Cobb, Dill, & Hammett Is Here When You Need Us Most

When a termite prevention company or home inspector is negligent and causes damage to your home, it's time to act fast. You need a trustworthy termite attorney in cityname, state by your side to take the proper steps toward getting compensation.

When you depend on CHSA Law, LLC, you'll receive personalized attention and proactive representation. That's because we make an intentional decision to limit our law firm's overall caseload. This allows us to better focus on our individual clients, many of whom remain with us for generations. We do not pass off cases to paralegals or junior associates but rather prioritize the attorney-client relationship.

We value compassion and integrity, and our practice reflects those values. If you're ready to take a stand, call our office today. Our termite damage lawyers will help create a better future for you, your family, or your business.

Don't hesitate to ask

Law is complicated matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

 Law Firm Jonesville, SC

Latest News in Jonesville, SC

Belk department store says it is laying off over 300 workers in South Carolina

Charlotte-based Belk department store is laying off more than 300 workers starting next month and closing a South Carolina fulfillment center.The Jonesville, S.C., fulfillment center at 3805 Furman L. Fendley Highway will close “in the near future,” according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter sent Feb. 28 to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.The layoff of 310 workers is expected to run from April 30 through May 28, Tim May, general vice president of supply chain operat...

Charlotte-based Belk department store is laying off more than 300 workers starting next month and closing a South Carolina fulfillment center.

The Jonesville, S.C., fulfillment center at 3805 Furman L. Fendley Highway will close “in the near future,” according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter sent Feb. 28 to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

The layoff of 310 workers is expected to run from April 30 through May 28, Tim May, general vice president of supply chain operations said in a WARN report filed March 9.

“All positions and jobs at this location will be eliminated,” May said in the letter.

Some employees may be offered employment at other Belk locations. “However, we do not know at this time which employees, if any, will be given this option,” May said in the letter.

While other stores including Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Amazon are adding fulfillment centers in the Charlotte region to meet distribution demands, Belk is cutting back.

The decision to close the Jonesville center meets the needs of the company’s supply chain network after review of internal processes, Belk spokeswoman Jessica Rohlik told the Observer on Thursday.

“We know the closure will affect associates at the Jonesville fulfillment center, and we are committed to working with them in the coming weeks to provide resources during the transition,” Rohlik said.

The Union County center filled thousands of online orders each day, according to a 7News report.

Two years ago, Belk said it would invest $2.5 million to upgrade its Blythewood, S.C., distribution center over the next five years, The State newspaper in Columbia reported. The facility employs up to 103 people.

It’s been just over a year since Belk, owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 23, 2021. It had a plan to restructure and eliminate $450 million of debt.

Belk emerged from bankruptcy protection a day later. At that time the company said it did not intend to close stores or layoff any employees.

Last summer, Belk promoted Nir Patel from president and chief of merchandising officer to CEO, replacing Lisa Harper. Patel’s background included e-commerce and marketing for Belk for five years.

In July, Belk said it would sublease its corporate office on Tyvola Road where about 1,200 employees work.

Last month, retail experts told the Observer the iconic, Charlotte-based department store hasn’t been doing enough since emerging from bankruptcy.

The 134-year-old company has nearly 300 store in 16 southern states. Belk has about 17,000 full- and part-time workers at its stores and distribution centers.

This story was originally published March 11, 2022, 10:00 AM.

Hilton Head residents unite against Jonesville development, town working on a district plan

In recent months, residents along Jonesville Road have watched parts of their neighborhood — nestled between marshlands and trees laden with Spanish Moss, living symbols of Hilton Head’s unique environment — transform dramatically.Construction is underway to introduce Bailey’s Cove, a new housing development of 147 units on 29 acres, to the area. The once thickly forested lot has since been cleared, and the town is reviewing two other potential developments now. If both are approved, 96 more homes will be built...

In recent months, residents along Jonesville Road have watched parts of their neighborhood — nestled between marshlands and trees laden with Spanish Moss, living symbols of Hilton Head’s unique environment — transform dramatically.

Construction is underway to introduce Bailey’s Cove, a new housing development of 147 units on 29 acres, to the area. The once thickly forested lot has since been cleared, and the town is reviewing two other potential developments now. If both are approved, 96 more homes will be built.

Last fall, Driftwood Stables owner Sondra Makowski learned she would have to relocate after her landlord sold the plot that her business sits on to develop one of the neighborhoods.

Area residents are concerned the rapid expansion could harm the area’s natural beauty and damage the identity of the historic Jonesville neighborhood. They recently formed the Jonesville Preservation Society, and at the Jan. 3 Hilton Head Town Council workshop, society president Daniel Anthony urged the town to consider a moratorium on development in the area until the town can strengthen its land management guidelines.

“Jonesville Road is a very unique area on the island. It has the historic district, it has a lot historic knowledge, and they’re going to destroy it,” Anthony said.

Anthony is reaching out to residents beyond the Jonesville area to establish a broader coalition of citizens to slow development on the island, he said, including residents near Folly Field Road who are once again voicing opposition to the planned construction of a timeshare resort.

Beyond natural and aesthetic worries, residents say the road simply can’t support the amount of new drivers that 243 units could introduce. Jonesville already experiences severe congestion during mornings and after work hours, Anthony said, and he’s skeptical emergency services could access the area promptly during peak traffic hours.

Anthony’s moratorium request was echoed by other speakers, and received support from Ward 4 Councilwoman Tamara Becker.

“We are getting their attention. We just need to get enough of their attention to force them to do this moratorium,” Anthony said, “and prove to them, ‘Hey, I know you guys have reservations about this and we’re not against you. We’re working for Hilton Head.’”

Ward 3 Councilman David Ames also recognized weaknesses in the town’s land management ordinance that have allowed developments out of line with what islanders expect Hilton Head to be, he said.

“The attempt to rewrite the LMO has its basis in understanding and appreciation of what Charles Frazier was trying to preserve,” Ames said. “Unfortunately, certain developers have come into this community and used their practices from other communities to develop here on Hilton Head, and those two are in direct conflict of one another.”

At the workshop, Anthony said he doesn’t oppose all development but hopes the town will step in to create codes that encourage “orderly” growth.

At the same meeting, Assistant Town Manager Shawn Colin announced the town is beginning work this month on a Jonesville District plan to assess the area’s zoning code, existing infrastructure and more to “establish expectations” for future development. That plan, which Colin likened to the recently completed Mid-Island Initiative, could take six to nine months.

“In six to nine months, an awful lot can happen in terms of submission of development plans, and once that happens we have issues that we can’t resolve,” Becker said. “I’m asking — as has been suggested by folks here — we find out how we can, if possible, institute some sort of moratorium.”

The Island Packet reached out to Colin and Becker for further comment for this article but received no immediate response.

Anthony and the Jonesville Preservation Society have been promised a one-hour meeting with town officials soon, he said, the date still undetermined.

According to the Municipal Association of South Carolina, towns may impose a moratorium on development through ordinance, with six months considered a reasonable best-practice length. In the South Carolina Court of Appeals case Simpkins v. City of Gaffney, standards were established that a town should then actively research desired changes to land codes during the moratorium’s duration — consistent with Hilton Head’s plan to revise the Jonesville district.

“(A development moratorium) it is not the monster, the dinosaur, the evil thing that the town makes it out to be. This does not kill Hilton [Head], it protects Hilton Head,” Anthony said.

This story was originally published January 9, 2023, 6:00 AM.

Family who grew up picking cotton buys 'mansion' across street

JONESVILLE, S.C. — Dorothy Ngongang grew up as a sharecropper, picking cotton in South Carolina in the 1950s and '60s.Her family of 12 lived in a two-bedroom hut where they slept on flour sacks stuffed with grass. Each child owned one pair of clothes at a time."We had a typical-looking sharecropping hut with brown wood and broken windows," said Ngongang, who is now 72 and lives in Charlotte. "You had to make sure you had cats to be sure you kept the snakes down."Across the street ...

JONESVILLE, S.C. — Dorothy Ngongang grew up as a sharecropper, picking cotton in South Carolina in the 1950s and '60s.

Her family of 12 lived in a two-bedroom hut where they slept on flour sacks stuffed with grass. Each child owned one pair of clothes at a time.

"We had a typical-looking sharecropping hut with brown wood and broken windows," said Ngongang, who is now 72 and lives in Charlotte. "You had to make sure you had cats to be sure you kept the snakes down."

Across the street stood a large white house with a wraparound porch that Ngongang and her siblings, then known as the Giles family, often admired as they worked in the fields.

"It was a mansion to us," Ngongang said of the house. "We thought it was beautiful."

The Giles, who are African-American, would peer over at the house from their modest home in Jonesville, a town with an area of 1 square mile in Union County, South Carolina.

The house didn't belong to the landowners the Giles family worked for. A well-off white family, the Wheelers, lived in the home and their daughters were playmates of the Giles kids. They'd all play out in the fields together, or sometimes under the porch. The home the Wheelers lived in not only represented the financial stability that the Giles' longed for, it was a bright spot in an otherwise arduous existence.

"They were kind even then when there were white people who were not kind," said Ngongang, who recalled long summer days playing with the Wheeler daughters. "There were some cruel things, but they were never that type of family. They treated us as next-door neighbors and friends."

Back then, Ngongang didn't dream her siblings and their children would pull themselves out of poverty. She could not know they would fan out across the country to earn professional degrees, or that her own daughter would become a medical doctor. She never imagined as a child that she and her siblings would one day pool their money and own that big white house that was across the street.

'An encourager'

Sharecropping is an arrangement in which property owners allow tenants to farm a piece of land in exchange for a share of the crop. In many cases, as with the Giles family, the tenants worked extraordinarily hard for very little, and if the crops failed in a particular year, they got even less. Sharecropping was widespread in the South during Reconstruction, after the Civil War. It was a way for landowners to still command labor, often by African-Americans, to keep their farms profitable. It faded in most places by the 1940s.

But not everywhere.

When the 10 Giles kids were young, they picked an enormous amount of cotton — the equivalent of about 20,000 pounds of cotton a year. For that, the family earned a total of about $100 to $300 annually plus minimal food, they said. They ate what Ngongang called a "slave diet" — molasses or gravy, fatback and a type of corn bread. Butter and milk were considered delicacies.

When Ngongang was a girl, she loved attending school, but was frustrated that she and her siblings had to miss months at a time because her father, an incessant worker, required them to hoe, chop or pick cotton.

"We did all of the work, and the landowner kept the books and settled up with us using his math," Ngongang said. "We were just human capital."

When they were able to go to school, the Giles children walked 3 miles to a segregated, two-room schoolhouse while nearby white children took buses to and from school. Some white children would throw sand out of the bus at the Giles children to humiliate them. But having a strong mother kept them focused on what was important.

Her father, a sharecropper since he was 5 years old, was illiterate. So was her mother. But her mother was determined none of her children would be.

"Our mother was an encourager, she encouraged us to learn or 'get something in our heads that no one could take from us,' " Ngongang said.

It worked. The children, eight girls and two boys, studied extra hard to keep up with what was taught when they missed school.

"I felt I wasn't going to be there picking cotton my whole life," Ngongang said. "I thought, 'No, I can't do this. Not with the pain of living the way we lived.' "

A teacher's life

After high school, Ngongang dedicated herself to earning her degrees and pulling herself out of poverty.

She graduated second in her class at Sims High School in 1965, and then attended a satellite campus of the University of South Carolina. She lived at home, and a professor helped her get a scholarship for the tuition. She eventually transferred to what was then called Mars Hill College, a university near Asheville, North Carolina. She worked in the cafeteria to pay for books and also earned money picking peaches, cleaning houses and babysitting in the summers. She was one of the first black students on campus, and she was forced to sleep in the infirmary at first because the school refused to match her with a white roommate.

In the cafeteria, she ate her meals alone for months, until slowly the white students would start to sit near her.

She was as smart as she was dedicated, and ended up earning the highest marks at the college. She graduated from Mars Hill in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in biology.

"I didn't realize how isolated we were until I moved away," she said.

She then went on to get her master's degree in teaching from Indiana University in 1972. After, she settled in North Carolina and got a job at a high school in Charlotte teaching biology, environmental science and anatomy. She also taught Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate biology, and retired in 2010 after a teaching career that spanned more than three decades.

Her brothers and sisters were successful, as well. Of the 10 children, seven graduated from college and three went on to earn master's degrees. Three were successful in manufacturing.

Ngongang met a man from Cameroon and they married in 1980, and later had two children. They divorced after 13 years of marriage, but remained friends. He passed away in 2007.

Daring to dream

In 2015, Ngongang, who was staying busy with family and tutoring children, got a curious call. It was from her old playmate Peggy Wheeler McKinney, who grew up in the white house with the wraparound porch. She said the house was for sale. She wondered whether Ngongang wanted to buy it.

"I was redoing it and I ran into all kinds of financial and physical problems, and I knew I wasn't able to redo it," said McKinney, 65, who has memories of playing with the Giles children. "I called them and asked them if they'd be interested in buying it. To me, it was like keeping it in the family."

Wheeler's sister, Joan Wheeler Little, said the Wheeler and Giles kids "have always had a good bond. Any time you needed anything, you could ask them."

The house had been vacant for 10 years and it needed a lot of work. But if Ngongang and her family wanted it, McKinney said she'd sell it to them for a decent price.

It hadn't occurred to Ngongang before, but all of a sudden it made perfect sense. Several of her siblings and their children were still in the area, and it would be nice to have a home base when they visited South Carolina. It could be a place where they could gather for Christmas.

And her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all buried nearby.

Not lost on her was how remarkable it was that they could actually do it. Looking back on where she'd come from, it was an achievement she'd never even dare to dream of when she was a child.

"I never visualized owning that house," Ngongang said. "Nobody in the family, they never visualized sitting on the porch and rocking."

Ngongang called her sister and brother who she thought might be interested. They were. They bought the house in April 2015 for $45,000 and started fixing it up. They had to essentially gut the house and remake the interior.

They had fixed it up enough to host a gathering at the end of 2017, on Christmas, with 30 members of the family, many of whom looked in wonder at what they did to the place. It still needs work, including some fixes on the roof, but it's close to being where they want it.

"They restored it and made it look like it used to; they've done a wonderful job on it," said Wheeler Little, whose great uncle built the house. "I would have rather seen them have it than anybody."

Ngongang's son, Decker Ngongang, 36, said he has watched the home take shape and is in awe of the project his mother and aunts and uncles have undertaken.

"They are on the land where they used to pick cotton," Decker said. "I recognize the significance of that; they recognize the significance of that."

Ngongang said she realizes it might seem strange that she and her family would want to return to the place where they suffered so much.

"Do we have bad memories? Of course we have bad memories," she said. "You can't get a rose without thorns."

But her voice broke with emotion as she talked about her brother's joy at returning to the property where the family so carefully and diligently tended to the fields. She said buying the house has been "therapeutic" for the whole family.

"My brother looked across the fields and said, 'I have to contain myself, I have to smile to keep from crying,' " she said.

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Hilton Head to purchase land along Jonesville Road, a victory for anti-growth advocates

The Town of Hilton Head announced plans to purchase three land parcels along Jonesville Road — a longtime site of tension between developers eyeing empty land on the island and residents fighting to preserve the hub of a historic Gullah community.Comprising 12.019 acres and valued at $7.6 million, the property sits just north of Jonesville Road, situated between Graham Lane and Paddocks Boulevard. The land was previously b...

The Town of Hilton Head announced plans to purchase three land parcels along Jonesville Road — a longtime site of tension between developers eyeing empty land on the island and residents fighting to preserve the hub of a historic Gullah community.

Comprising 12.019 acres and valued at $7.6 million, the property sits just north of Jonesville Road, situated between Graham Lane and Paddocks Boulevard. The land was previously being considered for a housing complex of nearly 100 single-family units, part of a string of newly proposed developments that residents claimed would triple the population of the already crowded neighborhood.

“This council is committed to managing growth,” Mayor Alan Perry said in a press release. “When we learned of the opportunity to purchase this property, we took decisive action to remove it from the threat of immediate development.”

Although the town hasn’t specified its plans for the property, the planned acquisition marks a victory for the Jonesville Preservation Society, a young but fast-growing group of Jonesville residents and other islanders fighting to protect the historic neighborhood against excessive growth and preserve green space.

“I’m glad that they heard us,” society president Daniel Anthony told The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.

Anthony believes the town’s decision is a direct consequence of the community’s grassroots movement, whose support and influence has quickly spread beyond the Jonesville neighborhood. The group’s survey on overdevelopment, launched in mid-January, garnered 1,303 responses in only nine days, with 91.3% of responses indicating support for a sixth-month moratorium on development across the island.

The survey’s results were presented to the Town Council at the Jan. 26 Public Planning Committee meeting. Five days later, council members voted unanimously to enter a contract to acquire the land.

The 12-acre parcel was formerly home to Driftwood Stable, a well-known equine experience that was forced to relocate after the land was rezoned for residential use in September. The business’ Facebook page has teased the opening of a new location, but the owners did not immediately reply when asked whether they would return to the original location following the town’s acquisition.

Despite last Tuesday’s clear victory for the Jonesville Preservation Society, the neighborhood’s stand against growth is far from over. Construction is already underway for the nearby Bailey’s Cove, a 147-unit housing development whose 29-acre lot dwarfs the town’s recent 12-acre acquisition.

Formerly the home of thick forests and the island’s signature marshlands, the flattened construction site is a constant visual reminder of the long road ahead for Jonesville Road.

Although residents are appreciative of the town’s recent decisions, Anthony says the Jonesville Preservation Society will continue advocating for long-term solutions, including the establishment of an islandwide development moratorium and an updated Land Management Ordinance that limits the density of housing projects.

On a larger scale, town officials have also begun making plans to manage growth in the Jonesville neighborhood. In a Jan. 3 Town Council workshop, Assistant Town Manager Shawn Colin announced the creation of a Jonesville District plan to assess the area’s zoning code, existing infrastructure and more to “establish expectations” for future development.

Disney closing Jonesville distribution operation

Move to Memphis will cost Union 150 jobsThe Disney magic is over in Union County.Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that it will close its 500,000-square-foot distribution center off Highway 176 near Jonesville.The company said it will consolidate the center, which employs about 150 people, into another Disney distribution center in Memphis, Tenn. Some employees will be offered the opportunity to relocate to the Memphis facility, which will serve Disney stores and Disneystores.com."These deci...

Move to Memphis will cost Union 150 jobs

The Disney magic is over in Union County.

Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that it will close its 500,000-square-foot distribution center off Highway 176 near Jonesville.

The company said it will consolidate the center, which employs about 150 people, into another Disney distribution center in Memphis, Tenn. Some employees will be offered the opportunity to relocate to the Memphis facility, which will serve Disney stores and Disneystores.com.

"These decisions are never easy, and Disney will work with the employees of the Jonesville facility over the next year to make this transition as seamless as possible," Edward Kummer, senior vice president of global e-commerce for Disney Consumer Products, said in a statement. "Disney.com has been a proud employer to members of the Jonesville community since 1997, and we thank the employees for their years of service."

Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair said the company will phase out the facility in stages starting in July, with the goal of closing by July 2011.

The loss of that many jobs is an additional economic blow to a county with one of the highest rates of unemployment in South Carolina. Union County's jobless rate in March was 19.2 percent, according to the S.C. Employment Security Commission. It was the first month since May that unemployment in Union dropped below 20 percent.

Sinclair said he feared the rate will jump back above that mark as a result of the announcement.

In addition to the loss of jobs, Sinclair said the county will lose $315,000 to $320,000 in tax revenue with Disney's departure.

Rep. Mike Anthony, D-Union, said the center was also a reliable source for part-time work when its seasonal business would pick up.

"We've been chipping away at unemployment, but this could potentially be devastating to those efforts," Anthony said.

Disney Co. opened the state-of-the-art center in 1999, replacing two centers in Memphis. County leaders granted the company a 6 percent, 20-year fee-in-lieu-of agreement, meaning that instead of paying the 10.5 percent tax most companies are assessed, Disney paid 6 percent.

Sinclair and Anthony said the county is working with the S.C. Department of Commerce to market the facility to prospective companies.

"We've done some initial planning, but will be working hard on that," Sinclair said. "It's one of the premier facilities in the state. It can support another distribution operation or be up-fitted to support manufacturing."

Andrena Powell-Baker, director of the Union County Economic Development Board, said the county will pool its resources together with the S.C. Employment Security Commission to "soften the impact" of Disney's announcement.

"We've pulled together a great team," she said. "We have seen an uptick in activity. Although we're losing a big name, our biggest concern is getting people back to work."

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