06/19/08 — County takes option on land near Duplin

View Archive

County takes option on land near Duplin

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 19, 2008 1:49 PM

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners have taken an option on a 104-acre tract of land off the U.S. 117 bypass near the Wayne-Duplin county line for use as a potential industrial site.

Commissioners held a brief closed session Tuesday morning to consider land acquisition. The state's Open Meetings Law allows such closed-door sessions. Afterward, in open session, the board voted to take a five-year option on the land at a cost of $10,000 per year.

County Manager Lee Smith told the News-Argus that the property has a selling price of $9,500 per acre for the first year and $10,000 per acre for each year thereafter if purchased. The owner will receive $10,000 per year for the option for the five years which will apply to the purchase price if the county decides to buy the land.

The property is owned by the Luke Donnell Britt Trust with his mother, Suzanne G. Britt, listed as trustee. The Britt family lives near Calypso.

The property is less than a mile from the Wayne-Duplin county line and is bordered on the west side by the U.S. 117 bypass and on the east side by South Breazeale Avenue. The CSX Transportation railroad line is located just across the two-lane South Breazeale Avenue from the property.

The property's location at the U.S. 117 bypass provides access to a four-lane highway with no stoplights all the way to Interstate-40 near Faison-- less than 10 miles away, making it an attractive site for industrial use.

The bulk of the cost for the option will be footed by the county.

"Commissioners agreed they would fund up to a certain point and beyond that the Wayne County Development Alliance would pick up the difference out of their special appropriations, not county money, if it is needed," Smith said.

He added, "It is about a $1,500 difference in year two or three not a whole lot of money, but they will pick up that difference."

Smith and Alliance President Joanna Thompson said there were "no specific prospects" for the site.

Smith called it "a great piece of property, it has water, sewer and natural gas."

He noted that its location near the Wayne-Duplin county line also provides an opportunity for the two counties to possibly work together on a project.

"It is a great thing for counties to come together," he said.

Smith said there were no joint plans under way, but that such projects are growing in popularity and interest.

"We have no specific client," Ms. Thompson said in a telephone interview. "It is one of the properties we kind of had on our radar for some time as a future potential industrial site. We just wanted to get it under our control to start the process of running tests like soil borings."

She added, "The option is just the first step. We are in the infant stages to look at and get tests done to see what kind of condition it is in and the potential it has an industrial site."