Public hearings set for two economic development projects

July 7, 2014

ASHEBORO — On Monday, Randolph County commissioners set public hearings for their next meeting on Aug. 4 for two economic development projects.

“I hope this is a good sign of things to come,” Commissioner Darrell Frye said after the vote Monday.

Bonnie Renfro, Randolph County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) president, presented the projects to commissioners in closed session following Monday’s regular meeting. The board was asked to set the public hearings to consider 5 percent project matches for building reuse grants from the state for PetPro Resources to set up in Seagrove and Ambella Home Collection to move into Archdale.

According to information provided by Renfro, PetPro Resources is a start-up company that plans to purchase the former Lucks facility in Seagrove for a new operations. The company is owned by husband and wife Mamdouh Darweesh and Peggy Baker. The couple have owned and operated food companies in Wisconsin and Oregon, Renfro said in her prepared remarks.

Renfro said they plan to purchase the facility and add new equipment for a pet food and animal feed operation. Specifically, they will convert North Carolina-grown sweet potatoes to a flour that will be used in pet food. A second process will be grinding poultry parts to powders for use in animal feed.

Renfro said PetPro will invest $5 million to purchase, renovate and equip the facility. The owners have committed to create 50 jobs within five years, 38 of which will be created within 18 months at an average annual wage of $34,358 with health benefits.

PetPro is applying for assistance via a $380,000 state building reuse grant to assist with the cost of installing a 500 kilowatt roof-mounted solar system at the plant. That will supplement the energy demands of the facility.

Following the public hearing in August, commissioners will vote on whether to award the company a 5 percent match of $19,000.

Ambella Home Collection is a Dallas, Texas-based furniture company that is planning to purchase the former CR Currin building at 503 Aztec Drive in Archdale, Renfro said. The company designs, sources and sells casegoods with all manufacturing conducted offshore, she said.

If completed, the project would create 12 jobs with an average wage of $41,897. The total project investment will be $1,055,781.

The company is seeking consideration of a building reuse grant to assist with the cost of upfit to the facility. The cost of renovations is estimated at $245,781. The company is seeking a grant of $116,192. The total matching grant from local government would be $5,810.

The City of Archdale held a meeting on July 2 and authorized half of that amount, $2,905. After the public hearing on Aug. 4, commissioners will vote on whether to provide the remaining $2,905.

The public hearings will start at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 as part of the regularly scheduled commissioners’ meeting at the Historic Courthouse at 145 Worth St. in Asheboro

Source: Courier-Tribune