Wadesboro awarded grant for industry

By: By Jasmine Hager - For The Record

Wadesboro was recently awarded a $1,776,925 grant to help provide water, sewer and industrial access road improvements for Wadesboro Industrial Park. More than 73 acres of land will be served by the project.

Town Manager David Edwards said he can’t wait to see the future opportunities the grant will bring to the community when the project is underway.

“I think it will be a huge economic driver for the town,” he said. “From uptown to Wadesboro Industrial Park is less than two miles so it’ll be very easy commuting to work and/or walking to work. So it’s going to be a great asset to the town.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce approved 10 grants totaling more than $14 million through the Rural ReadySights program.

According to a press release, the program helps rural communities prepare prospective sites for industrial development. It will invest more than $14 million in public infrastructure construction and improvements for sites that have a strong potential to attract employers, create jobs and strengthen the local, regional and state economy.

Edwards said the town worked closely with Anson Economic Development Partnership to complete the application for the grant. John Marek, executive director at Anson EDP, said he was excited to hear the news that their grant request was approved.

“This grant announcement is a major positive development in our efforts to bring new industry and good jobs to Anson County,” he said.

The participating projects in the Rural ReadySites program must meet the following criteria:

• The applicant must be a government entity in a Tier 1 or 2 county

• The site must be publicly owned or controlled.

• The site must be a minimum of 50 contiguous acres.

• Funds must only be used to construct public infrastructure with priority given to water, sewer and industrial access improvements. Additional consideration will be given to sites located in counties with great economic distress.

Both Marek and Edwards said one of the projects for the money includes working on a shell building they will sell to interested companies as a ready-to-move-in site.

“In addition to making the greenfield sites more desirable for the industries we are trying to recruit, the infrastructure improvements will facilitate the development of a shell building which will allow Wadesboro and Anson County to compete with other nearby counties who currently offer spec space,” said Marek.

Marek also added that the money from the grant will fund the access road and extension of the utilities from the current cutoff point on Cobb Road to the future industrial sites. The access road would be just before the entrance to Cobb-Vantress, the company currently on the property.

The other nine local governments that received funding include:

• Camden County — $1,580,000

• Lenoir County — $789,500

• Martin County – $1,013,940

• Town of Middlesex (Nash County) — $1,514,600

• Person County — $1,604,125

• City of Reidsville (Rockingham County) — $1,132,500

• Rutherford County — $675,000

• Vance County — $2,456,575

• Wayne County — $1,785,000

Marek said more engineering work on the industrial park needs to be complete before they can start moving dirt. He projects construction will begin in late 2018 or early 2019.

By Jasmine Hager

For The Record