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Private $$ could finance building to attract jobs

 

Public hearing tonight on whether county should build it anyway if no one else will

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners will offer residents a second chance to provide input on the long-discussed proposal to build a $1.8 million speculative building tonight.

Following a public hearing during the board’s Feb. 4 meeting, during which several former commissioners spoke both for and against the county constructing a shell building in an attempt to lure industries, the board decided to recess the hearing to be continued tonight to allow for more comments from citizens.

County Manager George Wood explained during the meeting that having a private company finance the project had always been the preferred course of action, but previous attempts to do so had not worked out.

However, according to a Wednesday memo to commissioners from Clerk to the Board Amy Atkins, a private developer has now expressed interest in constructing the facility, with “possible negotiations” under way.

As such, Wood is recommending the item be tabled until “further information is available,” Atkins said in the memo.

“We would like to go ahead and complete the public hearing in case the negotiations fail to materialize,” she added.

Also on tonight’s meeting agenda, commissioners will consider executing a $1.35 million contract for construction of the sewer project for the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport.

The new gravity sewer would also serve the proposed industrial park near the airport, with a new pump station and force main that will connect to the city of Lincolnton’s sewer line along Buffalo Shoals Road.

Dellinger, Inc. was the low bidder for the project, which will also be partially funded by a federal grant.

Other items on tonight’s Board of Commission meeting agenda include:

  • Commissioners will consider approving a grant application for the Lincoln County Public Library.
  • Commissioners will consider a request from Extension Director Kevin Starr for two part-time farmer’s market positions.

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