Raleigh, N.C.

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 17 grant requests to local governments totaling $7,068,625, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 869 jobs, 623 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $96.8 million in private investment.

“Bringing opportunity and prosperity to all parts of North Carolina requires that we make smart investments in infrastructure in order to put rural communities in position to succeed,” Secretary Copeland said. “Rural Infrastructure Authority grants continue to be essential tools for economic development and the creation of good jobs.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s team of rural economic development professionals supports the RIA’s work. RIA 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 Kenny Flowers. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

“The projects approved for grants today will help rural North Carolina attract jobs, support business growth and prepare sites for future development,” said Assistant Secretary Flowers. “The Rural Economic Development Division at Commerce and the Rural Infrastructure Authority work closely with rural community leaders to strengthen their economies and encourage investment.”

The RIA approved 11 grants under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:

Vacant Building Category

  • Brunswick County: A $700,000 grant will support the reuse of a 336,435-square-foot building in Navassa. Pacon Manufacturing plans to locate in the facility. The company produces a wide range of custom products for wet and dry applications, including baby wipes, make-up removal wipes and cleaning wipes. This project is expected to create 238 jobs and represents an investment of $12,432,299 by the company.
  • City of Greensboro (Guilford County): A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 43,679-square-foot building where Centric Brands plans to locate, while investing $755,600 in the project. The company is a lifestyle brand that designs, produces, manages, and builds accessories and apparel for distribution in North America and in international markets.
  • Robeson County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 414,783-square-foot building in Lumberton, which will be occupied by Active Energy Group. The London-based renewable energy company is primarily focused on developing a biomass product that can be mixed at any ratio with coal or completely replace coal in existing coal-fired power stations. The project is expected to create 40 jobs and represents an investment of $729,149 by the company.
  • Surry County: A $100,000 grant will support the reuse of a 12,340-square-foot building in Mount Airy. Surry Rural Health Center, a clinic that provides preventive care and onsite laboratory testing, plans to relocate from its current facility to this location, creating 10 jobs and investing $387,376.

Existing Building Category

  • Burke County: A $312,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Hildebran occupied by Marves Industries, a manufacturer of non-woven fabrics, acoustical materials, felt and composite materials. The company plans to add 10,000 square feet to the facility, while creating 25 jobs and investing $1,865,315 in this project.
  • Granville County: A $287,500 grant will support the renovation of a 165,000-square-foot building in Oxford occupied by Dill Air Controls Products, which manufactures over 1,000 different products for various markets and applications, including valves and gauges. The project is expected to create 23 jobs with an investment of $1,154,059 by the company.
  • City of Statesville (Iredell County): A $300,000 grant will support the renovation of a 343,184-square-foot building occupied by Badger Sportswear, a provider of team uniforms and performance athletic wear. The company plans to create 82 jobs and invest $3,693,802 in this project, which consolidates its operations from two other states into the Statesville facility.
  • McDowell County: A $150,000 grant will support the renovation of a 40,000-square-foot building located in Marion occupied by Buechel Stone, a fabricator of natural stones for the commercial and residential markets. The project is expected to create 12 jobs with an investment of $1,390,926 by the company.
  • City of Archdale (Randolph County): A $135,000 grant will support the renovation of a 58,101-square-foot building occupied by Aeolus Filter, which manufactures filtration products, primarily for the HVAC industry. The company plans to create 11 jobs and invest $1,460,000 in the project.
  • City of Archdale (Randolph County): A $65,000 grant will support the renovation of a 18,434-square-foot building occupied by CovenantMade, a manufacturer of custom cabinets for mid-to-high-end residential markets. This project is expected to create 11 jobs with an investment of $178,000 by the company.
  • Richmond County: A $122,000 grant will support the renovation of a 50,000-square-foot building in Hamlet occupied by Superior Plastics Extrusion Company, Inc., known as Impact Plastics, a custom sheet extrusion company that specializes in thin gauge extruded plastic sheet and roil stock for applications in the food, medical, cosmetic, and automotive industries. The company plans to create 13 jobs and invest $5,228,000 in the project.

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.

The RIA approved one request under the state’s Rural Demolition grant program:

  • City of Greenville (Pitt County): A $150,000 grant will assist in the demolition of buildings and concrete pads from the former Imperial Tobacco Company facility. The 8.52-acre site is in downtown Greenville, adjacent to the Dickinson Avenue Arts and Innovation District, which has seen significant recent redevelopment and investment. After demolition is complete, the location can be redeveloped for private commercial and mixed-use developments.

The state's Rural Demolition program provides grants to local governments to support the demolition of a publicly-owned, persistently vacant building to encourage site rehabilitation and site availability for economic development purposes. Eligible applicants are units of local government located in either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, or a rural census tract in a Tier 3 county.

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

  • Town of Pittsboro (Chatham County): A $300,000 grant will support the renovation of a vacant 40,000-square-foot industrial building so that EG-GILERO, a medical device designer and manufacturer based in Morrisville, can locate a new production facility at the site. The company plans to create 19 jobs and invest $4,566,800 in this project.
  • City of Lumberton (Robeson County): A $400,000 grant will help build an approximately 4-foot-high earthen berm around Rempac Foam Corporation’s 250,000-square-foot manufacturing plant to prevent flood damage from future hurricanes. This brings the total RIA support for the project to $1.1 million. The City will construct and maintain the berm on publicly-controlled easements. With the addition of the berm, Rempac will retain jobs and will be positioned for future growth.
  • Rowan County: A $1.5 million grant will support the installation of a 4,000-linear-foot, 16-inch gravity sewer extension to a site in Salisbury where Chewy, an online pet supply retailer, plans to construct a 700,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center. This infrastructure project will facilitate the company’s investment of $55 million in this development that will create 1,200 jobs. 385 of these jobs and $53 million in investment are tied to this grant.

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 provide grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.

The RIA approved two requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program:

  • Town of Edenton (Chowan County): A $473,125 grant will help the Town provide a redundant water supply to Peanut Drive Industrial Park in the wake of two recent water main breaks. The 232-acre park is home to a number of major employers. The water project would increase reliability and provide both fire protection and redundancy to a host of companies that, combined, boast over 500 employees. When completed, the project will provide opportunities to develop and market an additional 128 acres and attract $10 million in private investment.
  • Edgecombe County: A $1,074,000 grant will help the County to provide water and sewer to a portion of Kingsboro Industrial Park, current home to two major employers. Water and sewer extensions would provide desired infrastructure to the back of the park, opening it for future development, while also serving a planned training center and providing a redundant source for existing industry.

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.

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 16 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 www.nccommerce.com/rd.

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