CAROLINE CROSSROADS Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
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Caroline eyes Fortune 50 company

Caroline County officials are optimistic about their efforts to land a company that would bring at least 150 new jobs to the Carmel Church area.

The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last week to provide up to about $460,000 in incentives and infrastructure improvements to the unnamed company if it locates in the Caroline Commerce Center off Interstate 95.

The proposed non-binding agreement identifies the business only as “Company 51,” but it appears to be the same Fortune 50 healthcare-distribution company that neighboring Spotsylvania County has been courting for three years.

According to the proposed agreement, the company intends to construct a 340,000 square-foot distribution center, create 150 new jobs at market rate salaries and invest nearly $50 million in real and personal property. Operations should start by 2012, the agreement states.

Caroline County Administrator Percy Ashcraft would not confirm or deny that “Company 51” is the same business Spotsylvania officials have been chasing. But he did say that 150 jobs would be a big deal for Caroline.

“We’re hoping in a short time that it can be announced,” he said. “Any deal can fall through, but we’re moving that direction.”

Because the company demanded secrecy, Spotsylvania officials used the code name Project Stonewall when discussing it. That name is briefly mentioned in the Caroline agreement.

Sources familiar with the plans said recently that the company is the same and that it appears to favor Caroline mainly because land there is significantly cheaper.

In December 2007, Spotsylvania supervisors passed a similar resolution that called for an undisclosed company to locate in the 95 Commerce Business Park.

Last November, the resolution was amended to remove any specific site.

Spotsylvania officials have said they expect the company to generate about $900,000 a year in tax revenue.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419