RALEIGH, N.C. – N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Dr. Pat Mitchell announced today that the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 18 grants totaling more than $8.1 million.
The RIA was established as part of the Rural Economic Development Division at the N.C. Department of Commerce to assist with the review and approval of grants for rural areas in the state. The grants-making programs of the new division include assistance for building reuse and restoration as well as infrastructure including water and sewer.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) approved:
· Polk County: $295,755 to construct 6,890 linear feet of twelve inch water line to allow the for-profit Tryon Equestrian Properties to construct a world class equestrian venue near the Mill Spring community.
· Town of Denton (Davidson County): $200,000 to loan to OPE of America, Inc. to support the reuse of a 24,000 square feet building located at 18870 South NC Highway 109 for reworking lawn and garden commercial equipment.
· City of Eden (Rockingham County): $750,000 to loan to SGRTEX, LLC to support the reuse of a vacant 180,000 square feet building located at 325 Summit Road for a yarn spinning manufacturing plant.
The CDBG is a US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that provides an annual allocation of funds to the State for rural economic development and residential infrastructure projects. DENR administers the rural residential infrastructure program and the N.C. Department of Commerce administers the economic development program. CDBG economic development provides grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Funding for projects is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of distress in the community applying for the funds.
The Industrial Development Fund Utility Account grants approved:
· Franklin County: $500,000 in funding to assist in sewer improvements in Triangle North Franklin Industrial Park.
· Haywood County; $2,100,000 in funding to modify existing natural gas pipeline with the addition of compressors.
· Washington County: $1,259,550 in funding to provide infrastructure to the County Commerce Center.
· Alexander County: $100,000 in funding to install approximately one mile of natural gas pipeline.
· Town of North Wilkesboro (Wilkes County): $50,000 in funding to assist in upgrading the septic system on behalf of Jeld-Wen, Inc.
· Town on Spindale (Rutherford County): $112,035 to assist in upgrading the sanitary lift station on behalf of Team Air, Inc., a company new to North Carolina.
The Utility Account of the Industrial Development Fund provides grants to units of local government of the 80 most distressed counties in the state to assist in job creation. The funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure and should be used for projects that are reasonably expected to result in the creation of jobs.
The Building Reuse Program grants/loans approved :
· Town of Taylorsville (Alexander County): $50,000 to support the reuse of a 3,100 sq. ft. building located at 60 2nd Avenue to open an urgent care facility.
· Town of Granite Falls (Caldwell County): $200,000 to support the reuse of a 40,000 sq. ft. building located at 171 North Main Street for McGee Wood Products expansion.
· City of Archdale (Randolph County):$110,000 to support the reuse of a 102,700 sq. ft. building located at 4015 Cheyenne Road for Brookline Furniture.
· Robeson County: $500,000 to support the reuse of a 93,476 sq. ft. building located at 4111 W. 5th Street in Lumberton for a Capel Rugs designer showroom.
· Rutherford County: $110,000 to support the reuse of a 159,717 sq. ft. building located at 2015 Hwy 221 South in Rutherfordton for Team Air’s east coast operation to manufacture and distribute custom oversized air handling equipment.
· Rutherford County: $430,000 to support the reuse of a 103,454 sq. ft. building located at 159 Broad River Boulevard in Forest City for Bonita Pioneer to create an east coast operation in the gift wrap market.
The Building Reuse Program will provide grants/loans to local governments to support the reuse of vacant buildings and/or expand rural healthcare facilities that will lead to the creation of new, full-time jobs.
The Economic Infrastructure Program grants approved:
· Town of Murphy (Cherokee County): $500,000 towards the installation of water and wastewater infrastructure.
· Johnston County: $350,000 towards upgrading a wastewater pump station along the highway 70 corridor.
· Pender County: $500,000 towards assisting construction of a publicly owned wastewater treatment plant.
The Economic Infrastructure Program will provide grants for a variety of public infrastructure, such as water and sewer, broadband infrastructure, natural gas, access road, and rail spur improvements.
The RIA elected leadership at today’s meeting. Tommy Hester from Vance County is the authority’s new chairman.
“I’m looking forward to serving the needs of rural North Carolina,” said Hester.
Celo Faucette of Alamance County will serve as vice-chair.
The RIA will meet bimonthly to review and approve grants specifically targeted to assist with economic development and job creation in the rural areas of North Carolina.