Eastern NC gains grant money to help infrastructure

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today that the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 12 grant requests totaling $3,977,855 and some of the money is coming to eastern NC.

The requests include commitments to create a total of 386 jobs.  Secretary Copeland previously announced an additional 145 new jobs associated with these grants.  The public investment in these projects is attracting $164.4 million in private investment.

“Infrastructure enhancements are a key ingredient to help our rural communities prepare for and compete for business,” said Secretary Copeland. “The Rural Infrastructure Authority, supported by the Rural Economic Development team here at Commerce, provides the support and expertise that makes a real difference for people’s economic future.”

Authority members review and approved funding requests from local communities. Funding comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division.  Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

“We’re pleased to see these 12 projects get up and running,” said Deputy Secretary Wallace. “Our rural communities work hard to prepare for these grants and they all deserve congratulations for their efforts to bring new opportunities to their regions.”

Included in the grants awarded today, the RIA approved one eastern North Carolina location request under the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program:

  • Lenoir County: A $231,730 grant will help extend a water line in support of an expansion by Lyndon Steel in Kinston.  The expansion will include a 63,000 sq. ft. building and will create 25 jobs. $4.5 million in private investment is associated with the project.

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 reasonably 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 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 are granted to local governments to enhance the vitality of communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments and expanding economic opportunities.

The RIA approved eight grants under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:

Existing Building Category

  • Onslow County: A $40,375 grant to support the renovation of a 191,000 sq. ft. building in Hubert.  Armstrong Marine designs and builds aluminum boats and will create 15 jobs at the location.  The grant draws a matching amount in private investment.

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 health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural Census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

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.

For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit http://www.nccommerce.com/rd

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