County commits to new I-74 industrial park
September 14, 2022
Sep 13, 2022
by Larry Penkava
ASHEBORO— Plans to develop a 160-acre industrial park at Interstate 74 and Wall Brothers Road in Sophia took a big step forward at the Sept. 6 meeting of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners.
The commissioners voted unanimously to purchase 30 acres of the proposed park to qualify for eligibility for utility grants to offset the infrastructure costs of sewer extension to the site. The board also authorized contracting with the NC Department of Transportation for improvements to upgrade Wall Brothers Road to industrial standards.
The per-acre cost of the property is $35,000, for a total of $1,050,000 for the 30 acres. Financing for the acquisition will come from money previously set aside in the Economic Development Fund.
The commissioners authorized a grant application for up to $1 million from the NC Industrial Development Fund to extend sewer lines to the site. The Randolph County Economic Development Corporation is working with a private developer, the county, the City of Randleman and the City of Asheboro for infrastructure to support the proposed industrial park. Water lines will be extended by Randleman while Asheboro will provide Randleman more sewer capacity by extending its sewer line up US 311.
Resolutions on the project passed by the commissioners included the land purchase, a contract with the NCDOT for preliminary engineering and permits for improvements to Wall Brothers Road, the grant application for extension of sewer service, and pursuit of additional grants to supplement the cost of sewer service. The total cost of extending sewer lines is estimated at $6,862,800, which will be funded by a transfer of $5,862,800 from the Coronavirus Recovery Fund and the $1 million state grant.
Crystal Gettys of the EDC told the commissioners that the Toyota Battery Plant being constructed west of Liberty has prompted a number of inquiries from companies wanting to locate near that facility. She said the county currently has few industrial sites available and it’s important to develop large-acreage properties.
During a public hearing on the project, Lynn Small told the commissioners that he wants whatever company that locates at the I-74 park to pay fire and property taxes. He also asked that tractor-trailers be banned from using Walker Mill Road, which he described as a residential neighborhood.