City to act on industrial sites

First Posted: 11/17/2009

Mount Airy officials will consider a spending proposal Thursday night to aid the marketing of prime sites in a local industrial park.
The city commissioners are scheduled to vote on whether to have two tracts of 30-plus acres in Piedmont Triad West Corporate Park certified according to N.C. Department of Commerce guidelines.
That would cost between $70,000 and $80,000, with county officials earlier agreeing to pay half of the expense.
The certification process, which reflects new state guidelines, is required for the local industrial park to maintain its listing in a Department of Commerce marketing program at the end of this year.
Though they have bristled in recent meetings at the extra expense associated with meeting the updated requirements, both city and county officials consider it worthwhile.
The reality is some industry leaders seeking new plant locations will consider certified sites only, according to City Manager Don Brookshire, who is recommending that the commissioners approve Mount Airys share of the cost during their meeting Thursday at 7 p.m.
Todd Tucker, the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, has called the certification process a marketing tool for the local industrial park.
Mount Airys share of the expense set at $40,000 would come from its Economic Stabilization Fund, which is used for incentives for prospective companies and similar expenditures aimed at creating jobs.
At a joint meeting of city and Surry County officials on Nov. 5, the idea of certifying the entire industrial park was discussed, which Tucker said would represent the best-case scenario. However, they settled on just the two prime sites on Mountain View Lane to keep the cost low. One is about 39 acres, while the other totals around 32.
The certification procedure involves engineering studies, soil borings, grading, topographical maps and other work to ensure the sites are suitable for tenants.
It needs to happen, Craig Hunter, the chairman of the county commissioners, said at the Nov. 5 meeting. These sites need to be ready.
Central States Manufacturing, based in Arkansas, broke ground on Sept. 24 at a site in Piedmont Triad West Corporate Park for a plant that will hire 45 people at an average wage of $40,656 a year.

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