10/06/11 — Hearing set for grants for company expansion

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Hearing set for grants for company expansion

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 6, 2011 1:46 PM

The public will have the chance next month to be heard on a request that the county provide $157,400 in matching funds for a $157,400 One North Carolina Fund grant for Cooper Standard Automotive.

County commissioners Tuesday morning scheduled the hearing for Nov. 1 at 9:15 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex.

If approved, the local match would come from the Wayne County Development Alliance reserve and would be paid out over a three-year period, County Manager Lee Smith said.

Cooper Standard would have to reach its job creation goal to receive the grant, he said

The company, which makes seals for the automotive industry, has announced a $17.9 million expansion to its Woodland Church Road facility.

Another $21.7 million will be invested by General Motors, which will allow the company to make parts for the Chevy Cruze, BMW X15 and Dodge sedan.

The expansion, announced by Gov. Beverly Perdue during a stop in Goldsboro two weeks ago, will add 137 jobs with an average salary of $32,000.

The company recently was awarded four new contracts that created the need for the new jobs by 2014.

The Goldsboro plant opened in 1984 and expanded in 1997 to include a second facility. The two locations have 373 full-time employees.

In other business Tuesday, commissioners awarded a $3.8 million contract to low bidder ES&J Enterprises for construction of a new landfill cell and related work at the Wayne County Landfill at Dudley.

The money will come from funds generated by the landfill's enterprise fund.

Commissioners asked Smith if the county accepted garbage from other counties for the landfill. Smith said the county does not and that he did not recommend that the county do so. Any revenue generated would be offset by filling up the landfill quicker, he said.

The board approved a request by the county ABC Board that the county's ABC law enforcement officer be designated to make recommendations to the state ABC Commission on ABC permit applications.

Sheriff Carey Winders agrees with the request, Smith said.

The officer will be responsible for making recommendations regarding the suitability of persons and locations for ABC permits within the county's jurisdiction.

Eryn McAuliffe, director of the county's Services on Aging, updated commissioners concerning changes to the Medicare D open enrollment.

The enrollment dates have been changed to Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, she said. The county will hold an open enrollment session Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Senior Center. People will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.

People may enroll by visiting the website www.medicare.gov. or may call Services on Aging at 731-1591.