05/06/04 — Grant could help add 100 jobs in Mount Olive

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Grant could help add 100 jobs in Mount Olive

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on May 6, 2004 2:05 PM

The Wayne County commissioners have arranged for a $100,000 grant to help land nearly 100 new jobs in Mount Olive.

At its meeting Tuesday, the county board agreed both to accept the grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce and to pass it along to Southside Fibers Inc. for a new fiberboard plant.

Southside wants to build its plant in Mount Olive Industrial Park on land beside Andy's Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers headquarters. The company plans to ship at least 1,000 train carloads of finished product annually.

The grant will only be made, though, if and when the start-up company completes its financial arrangements. The county Economic Development Commission, which has been working with company officials, has been waiting for several months for this to happen.

Accepting the grant would require the company to build a plant valued at at least $16 million and create at least 97 jobs within three years. The average wage will be at least $14 an hour, or $560 per week.

If Southside fails to live up to the contract, it will have to pay the state back. The commissioners discussed the grant during a closed-door session.

God resolution

The commissioners approved a resolution that acknowledges God as "a foundation of our national heritage."

Commissioner Arnold Flowers asked the board to consider the resolution, modeled after one written by the Currituck County commissioners. It states that the majority of the U.S. founders believed in God and talked of God-given rights.

Judeo-Christian legal concepts, such as the Ten Commandments, are a foundation of American law, the resolution says.

"Personally, I'd like to see Wayne County approve a document that says we support God and country," Flowers said.

His fellow commissioners agreed, voting unanimously for the resolution.

The board also agreed to recognize today as "National Day of Prayer."

Other business

Also Tuesday, the commissioners did the following:

*Agreed to allow car washes on land zoned for "community shopping" and "light industry." No one spoke against the change at a hearing.

*Approved the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council's 2004-05 budget proposal.

*Recognized Clerk to the Board Marcia Wilson and Assistant Clerk Cindy Furcron as part of "Clerks Week in Wayne County."

*Declared May as "Older Americans Month in Wayne County."

*Declared May 10-16 as "National Police Week" and May 15 as "Peace Officers Memorial Day."