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Grants approved for Denver Global

SARAH LOWERY
Staff Writer

The Board of Commissioners unanimously backed moving forward with various grants to secure funding that will help ready the proposed eastern Lincoln County site for Denver Global Products during its Monday night meeting.
As the Times-News previously reported, a combination of public and private funding will go toward water and sewer infrastructure improvements for the company, acquired by China-based RATO as a subsidiary last year. Of the $855,050 targeted for public improvements, County Manager George Wood said roughly $814,000 could be funded by the grants. Private improvements are expected to total $92,500.
Part of the county’s incentive package to lure the company here included a waiver of water and sewer capacity development fees.
The county will also chip in an additional $4,625 in local incentives to add to those previously approved.
Denver Global plans to begin construction by the end of July on its industrial campus, to be located on a 109-acre site off N.C. 16 near Airlie Business Park in Denver. The 400,000-square-foot facility will house the company’s manufacturing, distribution and research and development operations.
The company will be obligated to invest more than $30 million for the construction of the facility, while also creating at least 350 new jobs over the next two years, with that number ultimately expected to reach almost 600.
During a public hearing on the project, Denver resident Glen Craig called it a “homerun” for Lincoln County, but he also expressed some concern regarding what sort of impact it may have on nearby residents.
Craig, who lives in one of about 85 homes in a neighborhood adjacent to the proposed site, asked county officials whether the public would be able to participate in any way as development on the project moves forward.
Assistant County Manager Martha Lide noted that a traffic study will be conducted, while Interim Planning Director Andrew Bryant said that buffer zones will be required, though they will be applied through an internal process.
Nonetheless, a public hearing regarding a rezoning request related to the project will be conducted at the Board of Commission’s May 6 meeting.
In other Board of Commission action at Monday’s meeting:
A public hearing concerning the Community Development Block Grant for the renovation of the historic Oaklawn building was conducted, during which Ola Mae Foster, president of the county’s Coalition of Churches, asked commissioners to reconsider a previous decision and include the organization in the school renovation project.
Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Midstate Contractors in the amount of $63,635 for the renovation of the Jonas Library’s parking lot.
Commissioners unanimously signed off on moving forward with the purchase process of a 2014 Volvo roll-off hoist and tarp vehicle for Lincoln County Solid Waste, costing roughly $150,249.
Commissioners unanimously approved a contract in the amount of $104,350 for the design, bidding and construction management of the East Lincoln Rescue Park. As the Times-News previously reported, the project is to be partially funded by a $352,432 North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund matching grant, which was received in October. The Denver Lake Norman Rotary Club Foundation will be providing the dollar-for-dollar match for the grant, with the county overseeing the bidding for the construction, as aligned with purchase guidelines.

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