Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 22 grant requests totaling $10,637,897, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 252 new jobs. An additional 510 new jobs associated with these grants have been previously announced.
“Modern infrastructure is a key component for attracting business,” said Secretary Copeland. “These grants will help counties and towns meet the needs of business by upgrading water and sewer systems, buildings, and industrial access points all across the state.”
The Authority’s work is supported by a team of rural economic specialists at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Authority members review and approve funding requests from local communities, using a variety of specialized grant and loan programs. These programs are offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Napoleon Wallace. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building demolition, renovation and expansion, and site improvements.
The following is the list of regional counties/cities that received funding:
• Martin County: A $387,500 grant to assist with the construction of a rail spur to serve the Martin Regional Business Park. The spur will benefit Weitron, a packager of refrigerant gases, which will locate operations to Martin County. 31 new jobs are tied to this grant, which were previously announced in conjunction with the company’s recent One North Carolina grant. The RIA also awarded a CDBG-ED grant for Building Reuse in conjunction with this project (see below).
The Economic Infrastructure Program provides grants to local governments to fund infrastructure projects that will lead to job creation. With priority given to jurisdictions in the 80 most economically distressed counties, the program 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.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – Economic Development program:
• Edgecombe County: A $367,000 grant to demolish and clear a 15,573 square foot building constructed in 1936. This will free up a 23-acre site suitable for light manufacturing.
• Town of Robersonville (Martin County): A $150,000 grant to support renovation if a two-story building built in 1910. The renovation will support several small businesses, including Curlz & Dots Monogramming.
• Martin County: A $620,000 grant to support the reuse of a vacant 53,000 square foot industrial building in Everetts. Weitron, a packager of refrigerant gases, will locate operations to Martin County. 31 new jobs are tied to this grant, which were previously announced in conjunction with the company’s recent One North Carolina grant. The public investment is drawing $13.5 million in private investment to the location.
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.
Existing Building Category
• Pitt County: A $400,000 grant to support expansion of a 350,000 square foot building in Greenville to benefit Grady-White Boats, creating 44 new jobs. The public investment is attracting $5.8 million in private-sector investment.
Vacant Building Category
• City of Greenville (Pitt County): A $150,000 grant to support the renovation of a 26,000 square foot building. Caremaster, a fire and water restoration company, will operate from the facility, creating 15 jobs. The public investment will be leveraged by $267,132 in private-sector investment.
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.