Raleigh, N.C.

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 22 grant requests totaling $15,802,945, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 429 new jobs. Secretary Copeland previously announced an additional 368 new jobs associated with these grants. The public investment in these projects is attracting $367 million in private investment.

“These investments will help our rural communities prepare for and win business,” said Secretary Copeland. “The Rural Infrastructure Authority’s work supports necessary infrastructure improvements and projects that will help communities prepare and compete for jobs.”

A team of rural economic development specialists at the N.C. Department of Commerce support the Authority’s work. Authority members review and approve funding requests from local communities. Funding comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Napoleon Wallace. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

“Each of these 22 projects will make a difference in individuals’ lives and the communities they live in,” said Assistant Secretary Wallace. “These investments are critical, and our rural communities are committed to helping each project succeed.”

Included in the grants awarded today, the RIA approved eight requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program:

  • City of Conover (Catawba County): A $195,000 grant will help increase output capacity and add 16 jobs at Terra Mulch Products, LLC. The investment will support infrastructure for an additional 24,000-square-foot building, a new green house and a two-story office space with additional equipment, totaling $8 million in private investment.
  • Columbus County: A $2,120,938 grant will help improve infrastructure for water and sewer services at the International Logistics Park, a megasite with approximately 1,100 acres in Columbus and Brunswick Counties. This infrastructure will also benefit the Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park in Brunswick County. The project will extend water lines to connect the two counties’ water systems and provide resiliency to each. A proposed 500,000-gallon elevated water tank would provide adequate water pressure to alleviate water main pressure spikes. Sewer improvements include a gravity line to serve the site as well as additional pump stations.
  • Davison County: A $2,911,773 investment will support EGGER Wood Products first U.S.-based manufacturing facility, creating 232 jobs and investing $300 million in the area. The Austrian company is a full-range supplier for the furniture industry, interior design, wood construction and laminate flooring sectors. The project will include upgrades to water, sewer, rail, access and gas infrastructure. The project also includes support from N.C. Railroad, the Golden Leaf Foundation and a Community Development Block Grant.
  • Town of Mocksville (Davie County): A $411,425 grant to extend Quality Drive in Southpoint Business Park. The improvements will consist of 900 feet of 24-foot-wide roadway, 900 feet of water lines and related equipment, and storm drainage. The project also includes one spec building and three pads. With this extension of Quality Drive, the park can offer new construction options for businesses.
  • Bessemer City (Gaston County): A $1.125 million grant will help install a water system connection between Bessemer City and Gastonia that will provide economic development opportunities and increase water supply security for the region. Due to low existing reservoir capacity, Bessemer City cannot provide enough water for potential industrial customers in the SouthRidge Business Park, which currently has 300 acres of available space. The lack of water supply also puts existing employers at risk, including Dole Fresh Vegetables, ADS, TOSAF and Hunter Douglas. The project will also complete the regional water grid between the French Broad and Catawba Rivers.
  • City of Laurinburg (Scotland County): A $1.5 million grant will help extend various utilities to several parcels in Laurinburg. The project goals are to provide the utilities needed to market and use a 45-acre incubator park, an 85-acre undeveloped site and a 2-acre parcel.
  • City of Albemarle (Stanly County): Albemarle purchased 282 acres to develop a high-quality Corporate Center to attract and retain industry. The $750,000 grant will support industrial access. The park will require approximately $5.3 million in infrastructure.
  • Cherokee County: An $18,750 grant to support increased access to a sewer line for Aegis Power Systems. The company, which has been in business for 22 years in Murphy, is investing $2 million and adding 6 jobs at a new 12,000 square-foot facility in Murphy.

The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to local governments located in the 80 most economically distressed counties of the state, which are classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Funds may be used for publicly owned infrastructure projects that are reasonably expected to result in new job creation. The IDF – Utility Account is funded through a process tied to the state’s signature Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. When JDIG-awarded companies choose to locate or expand in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 county, a portion of that JDIG award is channeled into the Utility Account.

The RIA approved one request under the state’s Economic Infrastructure program:

  • City of Hendersonville (Henderson County): A $226,765 grant will support the improvement of water infrastructure to assist with expanding two companies on the 17-acre site, Demmel Inc. and Elkamet Inc. The project will create 49 new jobs. Demmel is an industrial design company specializing in automotive decorative components. Elkamet is a manufacturer of extruded polymer materials for the automotive industry. The improvements include extending 2,700 feet of water line that will improve the system’s exiting flow and pressure.

The Economic Infrastructure Program provides grants to local governments to fund infrastructure projects that will lead to job creation. The program gives priority to jurisdictions in the 80 most economically distressed counties (Tiers 1 and 2) and helps build water and sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants, natural gas lines, public broadband infrastructure, roadways, rail spurs, and other infrastructure allowed under program guidelines.

The RIA approved three grants under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:

  • Davidson County: A $2,243,294 grant will assist in the construction of 23,836 feet of gas line for EGGER Wood Products’ first U.S.-based manufacturing facility. The Austrian company will commit to create 232 new jobs and invest $300 million. The company has received JDIG and One North Carolina Fund awards as well as a Utility Account grant.
  • City of Lexington (Davidson County): A $500,000 grant will support Bull City Ciderworks’s reuse of a vacant 12,320-square-foot industrial building at 599 South Salisbury Street. The building has been vacant for 10 years. Bull City Ciderworks will create 25 new jobs. Repairs include roofing, electrical, plumbing, painting and HVAC. The project will be supported by $1 million in private investment.
  • City of Lexington (Davidson County): A $300,000 grant will support Tapped Tees’s reuse of a vacant 7,400-square-foot industrial building at 201 East First Street, which has been vacant seven years. Tapped Tees designs screen printed t-shirts for clients like Lenovo, LinkedIn and craft breweries. The company will create 15 new jobs. Repairs include roofing, electrical, sprinkler installation, painting, flooring and HVAC. The project will be supported by $1 million in private investment.

The Community Development Block Grant program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by N.C. Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds are granted to local governments to enhance the vitality of communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunities.

The RIA approved eight grants under the state’s Building Reuse Program in several categories:

Existing Building Category

  • City of Claremont (Catawba County): A $350,000 grant will support Sutter Street Manufacturing’s reuse of a 411,000-square-foot building at 2973 Kelly Boulevard. Sutter Street Manufacturing is a subsidiary of William-Sonoma and will create 53 jobs and invest $1,487,133 in the area.
  • City of Fayetteville (Cumberland County): A $400,000 grant will support K3 Enterprises’ reuse of a 54,000-square-foot building at 504 Cumberland Street. K3 Enterprises is a female-owned information solutions company and has been awarded a five-year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. The project will create 32 jobs and bring $1,777,032 in private investment.
  • Town of Mocksville (Davie County): A $460,000 grant will support AccuMed Corporation’s expansion of a 78,300-square-foot building at 155 Boyce Drive. AccuMed manufactures specialty textile-based medical devices. The project will bring 40 new jobs and $6,445,000 in private investment.
  • Rutherford County: A $350,000 grant will support Manual Woodworkers & Weavers’ renovation of a 225,181-square-foot building at 141 Spindale Street in Spindale. Manual Woodworkers and Weavers is a woven fabric manufacturer focused on “make-on-demand” markets for custom-printed home décor and apparel. The project will bring 35 jobs and $366,040 in private investment.
  • Surry County: A $500,000 grant will support Altec Industries’ renovation of a 205,458-square-foot building at 200 Altec Way in Mount Airy. Altec Industries provides products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets. The project will bring 50 jobs and $5,074,398 in private investment.
  • Granville County: A $500,000 grant to support the renovation of a 1.1 million square-foot building used by Revlon Consumer Products Corporation near Oxford. The company is expanding operations to add production capacity for its Elizabeth Arden line. The company will privately invest nearly $16 million in the expansion, adding 55 new jobs. These jobs were previously announced in conjunction with a grant from the OneNC Fund.
  • Rowan County: A $185,000 grant to support New York Air Brake’s (NYAB) renovation of a 20,000-square-foot building in Salisbury. NYAB, operating its Premtec Division in Rowan County, manufacturers train control products and systems. The project will bring 28 jobs and $277,278 in private investment. The company also received an award from the OneNC Fund today.

Vacant Building Category

  • Bertie County: A $50,000 grant to support Abrams Inc.’s reuse of a 3,500-square-foot building in Windsor. The building has been vacant for 12 years. Abrams of Windsor is a restaurant and catering establishment with six other locations in North Carolina. The project was awarded $25,000 in June and will create 15 new jobs and bring $405,300 in private investment.
  • Town of Wallace (Duplin County): A $50,000 grant will support Tractor Supply Company’s reuse of a 20,000-square-foot building at 1124 North Norwood Street. Tractor Supply Company is a rural lifestyle retail store with 1,600 retail stores throughout the U.S. The project will bring five jobs and $1,124,779 in private investment.
  • City of Dunn (Harnett County): A $55,000 grant will support the reuse of a 51,900-square-foot building at 510 Spring Branch Road. Country Inn & Suites will open a 74-room hotel, creating 11 new jobs and investing $2,333,191 in the area.

The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural Census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

In addition to reviewing and approving funding requests, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. Its 15 voting members are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem. The North Carolina Secretary of Commerce serves as a non-voting member of the Authority.

For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit nccommerce.com/rd.

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