The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved five grant requests to local governments totaling $1,384,730. These grants are for projects that have committed to creating 133 jobs and will attract more than $68.3 million in private investment.
The Rural Infrastructure Authority is a 17-member board that awards Rural, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Utility grant funds, which include the Building Reuse Program and the Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program. 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 healthcare facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties. The RIA approved three grant requests under this program in the Vacant Building and Existing Business Building categories:
Vacant Building Category
- Yadkin County: A $75,000 grant will support the reuse of a 1,684-square-foot building in Yadkinville. Hospice of Surry County, Inc. (d/b/a Mountain Valley), a hospice healthcare provider serving 18 counties in North Carolina and Virginia, plans to establish a location at this facility. The project is expected to create 8 jobs, with an accompanying private investment of $133,337.
Existing Business Building Category
- Granville County: A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 355,000-square-foot building in Creedmoor. The building is occupied by Altec Industries, Inc., a provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, tree care, lights and signs, and contractor markets. The company expects to create 70 jobs and invest $30,927,478 in this project.
- Vance County: A $75,000 grant will support the renovation of a 4,500-square-foot building in Henderson. The building’s occupant, Versatrim, LLC, is a Henderson-based provider of moldings for the flooring industry. Through this project, the company plans to create 15 jobs while investing $106,498.
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 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. The RIA approved two requests under this program:
- Town of Spring Hope (Nash County): A $434,730 grant will assist the Town with construction of a 3,675-linear-foot extension of a water line in order to provide public water to the Bass Farm Sausage meat-packing facility. This extension is also expected to facilitate growth of additional commercial development in the area. The project supports an expansion at Bass Farm Sausage, in which the company is expected to create 40 jobs while investing $2.2 million.
- Pitt County: A $300,000 grant will assist the County with construction of a 13,500-linear-foot transmission water line from an existing elevated storage tank to the Ayden Rail Site, which will support current and future growth in the surrounding Ayden industrial district. The Ayden Rail Site is the largest certified industrial site (through the ElectriCities Smart Sites program) in Pitt County. These water infrastructure improvements are expected to benefit multiple ongoing economic development projects, attracting new jobs and private investment totaling at least $35 million.
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. The Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem appoint its 17 voting members. The North Carolina Secretary of Commerce serves as a member of the Authority, ex officio.
For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit www.nccommerce.com/rd.