State grants bring good news to Lexington and Davidson County

Published 11:15 pm Monday, July 4, 2016

From The Dispatch in Lexington:

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority handed out about $10 million in grants Thursday. Of that amount, a fifth — $2 million — came to Davidson County. Steve Googe, executive director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission, deserves credit for being the point person on those grants and working with companies and governing bodies to land them. In fact, he told members of the Lexington City Council on Monday night the county is almost becoming too successful in the eyes of state officials due to the number of grants coming here.

One of those grants awarded Thursday for $500,000 will go to Westport Bay to help the company rehabilitate the former Nokomis factory on North Church Street. The company, a division of East Coast Cabinets, will add manufacturing and assembly in the United States to its import business. The company will have to create 25 jobs over the next two years. So not only does this grant lead to a boost in the workforce, it also brings new use to a building that has been sitting idle for 10 years. That’s truly a win-win situation.

The other three grants all went to Denton businesses, Kaufman Trailers of North Carolina, Construction Implements Depot Inc. and Thermo Products. The grants total almost $1.6 million and will create an additional 85 jobs. That’s an impressive number for southern Davidson County and should provide more job options for those in the area who are out of work. ..

Editor’s note: Rowan County won approval for a $180,935 reuse grant for a building in Salisbury that will support the 15-job expansion of Aldo Products. The company manufactures roof coatings for use by commercial builders. The building, built in 1998, has been vacant for eight months. The renovation includes HVAC, electrical system and cabinetry. The grant supports a total capital investment of $1,511,074.

EPA help in Iredell

From the Statesville Record & Landmark:

Thank you, federal government, for stepping in to protect Statesville citizens who live near the asbestos-filled rubble of the old Davis Hospital.

It’s a shame the elected officials here in Statesville, Iredell County and North Carolina did not embrace the same urgency to safeguard their constituents.

It’s been a year since demolition began on the vacated eyesore known as the old Davis Hospital. The building needed to come down. But it needed to come down in a safe manner.

Permits were issued for the demolition, and the building from the 1920s began to tumble to the ground.

Unfortunately, it was clear early on the cleanup effort did not meet standards. …

Then, thanks to a federal allotment of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came to town to monitor for airborne asbestos and misted water to dampen any asbestos-related debris.

Sometimes state governments frown upon federal intervention. Same goes for county and city leaders.

Frown away. The people who live near the old hospital are glad for a bit of federal intervention. …