10/31/11 — County to vote on grant match

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County to vote on grant match

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 31, 2011 1:46 PM

Wayne County commissioners Tuesday morning will have a public hearing on whether or not the county will provide a $157,400 match to enable Cooper Standard to receive a $157,400 One North Carolina Fund grant.

Cooper Standard has announced a $17.9 million expansion project at its Woodland Church Road facility that would add 137 new jobs.

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

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

The hearing will be held at 9:15 a.m. in the commissioners' meeting room on the fourth floor of the county courthouse annex. An agenda briefing will start at 8 a.m. followed by the meeting at 9 a.m.

A second public hearing will focus on the closeout of the county's 2008 $400,000 Community Development Block Grant Scattered Site Housing Assistance program.

The hearing will provide information on the closeout of the project and a review of its accomplishments. Information will be provided regarding state and federal fair housing requirements.

In other business, commissioners will consider adoption of a capital project ordinance for Eastern Wayne and Norwayne middle schools.

Once approved, the ordinance will authorize the demolition, construction, repair and renovation of facilities on both campuses.

It also requires that County Manager Lee Smith provide annual reports on the project's financial status in the county budget and to inform commissioners of any unusual circumstances.

The $17,687,355 project will be financed mainly through the sale of $15 million in federal Qualified School Construc-tion Bonds. The interest, about $700,000 annually, will be reimbursed to the county by the federal government.

Commissioners will be asked to adopt two proclamations.

The first, designating November as Military Family Appreciation Month, is a project by Charles B. Aycock High School DECA members Jenna Hussey, Jade Woodard and Addision Vail.

The second would designate Nov. 20-26 as Farm-City Week.

The possibility of conducting a county-wide survey to gather the public's input on how it regards county services will be one of the topics that will be discussed during a work session that will be held at end of the board session.

Smith said that many of the county commissioners have indicated they would like to see such a survey.

Smith and county marketing director Barbara Arntsen have met with representatives of Insight Research Inc. concerning a proposed survey.

The cost would be $9,620. Offering the survey online would add another $900. Under the proposal, the company would mail the survey to 3,000 county residents.

Insight Research Inc. would be responsible for receiving the responses and compiling the data and preparing a report.