In September 2021, Everything Attachments owner Ted Corriher spoke about his excitement about the company’s future.
He announced that the company will add about 150 new jobs and invest $20 million in expanding Conover-based operations that manufacture blades, buckets and other accessories for equipment such as tractors and excavators. had announced plans.
A year and a half later, Corriher is hitting a different tone. His message to the community: Sorry.
He said he regrets that he has not yet completed the addition and expansion of personnel he promised two years ago. A big part of the regret is due to the fact that the company signed a deal that gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax benefits from Catawba County and Conover.
Corriher said the question of why the company hasn’t completed the project is a matter of community curiosity.
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“At this point, a lot of people ask me, ‘When are you going to do something with the new building?
He said the state of the building for the massive new factory is now at stake in a lawsuit between Everything Attachments and Neill Grading & Construction Co., the Hickory-based contractor the company hired to build the new factory. He said he was limited in what he could say because he was targeted. plant.
All Attachments claims Neil Grading left a new building they can’t occupy. Everything Attachments general manager Nate McAbee calls the factory “105,000 square feet of dead space.” .
Neill Grading will respond with its own counterclaim against Everything Attachments.
litigation and liens
Since announcing the expansion, Corriher says he’s done what he can to keep his contract expiring, including spending about $10 million on new equipment.
However, they have not yet received a residence certificate for the new building. For this, the company is responsible for Neil Grading.
The company’s specific allegations against Neill Grading were outlined in a lawsuit filed in October. Everything Attachments sued under the names TC Corriher Implement Co. and Landshark Attachments LLC.
In court documents, the company accused Neil Grading of defective workmanship, made unauthorized and unnecessary changes to construction plans, and “refused to provide plans and accounting records to cover up defects and other irregularities.” ” he accuses.
The document further states that Neil Grading falsely claimed to have passed the inspection, stating that the company “submitted the heater’s designed specifications to the inspector in an attempt to pass the inspection on the basis of fraud.” clarifying.
Specifically, they allege that documents provided by Neil Grading to inspectors regarding minimum installation heights for heaters contradict information provided by the company that manufactures the heaters.
According to the complaint, “Neil Grading subsequently stated that the subcontractor ‘altered’ the specifications.”
When asked about what needs to be done to secure a certificate of occupancy, Catawba County Communications and Marketing Director Amy McCauley said: An inspection must be requested by the owner or representative to determine this. ”
Neil Grading has yet to formally respond to specific allegations in the lawsuit, but has indicated that he plans to do so soon with his own allegations.
“Neil has until February 1, 2023 to counterclaim the owner’s lawsuit and to exercise a breach of contract and lien on the property,” the company said in a statement.
The company plans to claim $2 million in unpaid liens against Everything Attachments. Everything Attachment, in its complaint, said it withheld payment due to Neil Grading’s alleged breach of contract.
Corriher said the company’s inability to move to a new building is hurting its business. Hundreds of orders have been delayed and the company is inquiring daily about when the new factory will be up and running.
Walking behind the existing factory, McAbee points to the many metal items the company currently has to store outdoors due to lack of space. He said the company would have to pay the employee more than $30 an hour to remove the rust from the inventory.
“I never store metal outside until I need it,” he said.
What about incentives?
Both Corriher and McAbee affirm that they have not received any tax benefits from Conover County or the city. Both the city and county have confirmed that the business has not been paid.
If the local government gives tax incentives, I agree to refund a certain amount of the property tax paid by the company.
McCauley and Conover Public Information Officer Madeleine Epley said the company is eligible to begin making payments this year, provided certain contractual requirements are met. They also said the company did not ask for payment.
In this case, Catawba County agreed to pay more than $376,200 over six years. Conover’s incentive was approximately $228,000 over a similar period.
Both local governments said the company had not breached incentive agreements with them and was in no danger of breaching those agreements until December 31, 2025.
Both McCauley and Epley said their respective local governments were not interested in the project because safeguards were put in place to prevent companies from receiving public funding unless they met their obligations. rice field.
“Because the contract is performance-based, no public money will be spent without verification of progress towards contractual commitments,” said Macquarie. “At the end of the performance period, if the company has not met its entire investment commitment, the incentive agreement contains a clawback clause whereby the county will collect any incentive payments received by the company up to that point.”
Kevin Griffin is a Hickory City reporter for the Hickory Daily Record.