EDC calls 2010 a 'banner year' for economic development

June 30, 2011

ASHEBORO — As badly as 2010 started out, the year ended on an economic high note, according to Randolph County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) President Bonnie Renfro.

Renfro called 2010 a banner year in her presentation before commissioners at Monday’s monthly meeting.

“2010 brought hope for a stronger economy and new jobs,” she said in her presentation.

Renfro offered a flurry of statistics and numbers to support EDC’s view. She pointed out the year began with a 12.6 unemployment rate in January 2010. The unemployment rate is now 9.6 percent.

Last year saw $206.7 million in new and expanded industrial investment and the creation of 564 new jobs. The results are a 71 percent increase in new jobs over 2009 and the largest annual investment total in the history of EDC, Renfro said.

She added the increases will generate more than $1.2 million in new tax revenues to the county.

In all, 25 companies either expanded or moved to Randolph County in 2010, Renfro said.

Malt-o-Meal, already the county’s largest taxpayer, announced a $136 million expansion of its Asheboro operation that comes with 80 new jobs.

Americhem announced it would create a new manufacturing campus at Liberty Business Park and create 71 new jobs, Renfro said. Down in Seagrove, Florida Production Engineering (FPE) will move into the former Moll Industries building and create 96 jobs over the next three years. That’s almost as many jobs as were displaced when Moll shut down.

Other expansions include Future Foam in Archdale; Allen Precision Industries and Teleflex Medical in Asheboro; and Jowat and Novamelt in Trinity.

Renfro said the biggest challenge facing the county going into 2011 is a reduction in available industrial space for potential clients. In a closed session, she updated commissioners about one such potential client. However, that information was not available for publication at the end of the closed session.

In other items on the agenda, commissioners:

* Delayed a decision on offering a proposed health savings account program for county employees for one month after hearing a presentation on the proposal. Commissioners Darrell Frye and Stan Haywood both said they would like to have more information on the program before making a decision.

* Heard a Randolph Community College projects update from Dr. Robert Shackleford.

* Authorized a phase two study on the proposed regional landfill for $25,000 payable to Golder Associates.

* Approved a request to purchase Viper equipment for the county’s 911 system for $313,053.50.

* Voted to approve a request for sanitary sewer easements to the City of Trinity. One easement is for a proposed force main to connect Trinity Furniture to the existing pump station at Wheatmore High School. The second easement is for a gravity line running parallel with Mendenhall Road Extension and the eastern property line near Trinity High School.

* Adopted a resolution approving a lease agreement with the Archdale Chamber of Commerce. The county will lease the front office space at the former Lion’s Club building to the chamber for $400 per month for the next five years with an option to renew for one additional five-year term.

The board unanimously approved the only rezoning request presented Monday with two conditions.

Fred Davis of Asheboro asked 3.65 acres (out of 9.38 acres) at 1321 Caraway Mountain Road be rezoned from light industrial-conditional use to light industrial-conditional district and the remainder of the property to be rezoned light industrial-conditional use to residential agricultural.

The rezoning will allow the existing building to continue to be used as a tool and die shop, small engine and automotive repair and retail sales and service of farm equipment. In addition, Davis will be allowed to construct five warehouse storage buildings (four buildings 30-feet-by-150-feet and one building 12-feet-by-150-feet) to be used for a mini-warehouse self-storage facility as per site plan.

The board approved the following conditions with the rezoning:

* Access to the property shall be from Green Farm Road (not Caraway Mountain. Road),

* An appropriate buffers site plan will be worked out with planning staff prior to the commissioners meeting.

Source: The Courier Tribune