HC Commissioners approve grant requests

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WINTON – Hertford County’s Commissioners supported two local businesses in grant applications here last week.

During their regular meeting, the board approved grant applications and matching funds for Enviva Pellets Ahoskie and Metal Tech. The county has promised a total matching expenditure of $12,300 for both projects.

Bill Early, Executive Director of the Hertford County Economic Development Commission, appeared before the board for both requests.

With Enviva, Early requested the board apply for a Building Reuse and Restoration Grant on behalf of the wood pellet manufacturer through the North Carolina Rural Center. The application requires a five percent match, which would be roughly $7,300.

Early said the grant was for $146,000 which would add 25 jobs to the plant, which already employs 22 people.

Commission Chairman Johnnie R. Farmer asked Hertford County Manager Loria D. Williams for the source of funding and Williams said it would come from contingency funds, but that they were there.

Early said the funding would be part of what was already committed to Enviva for their relocation, but would have to be committed as part of the grant.

Commissioner Curtis A. Freeman made the motion to accept the proposal with Commissioner Howard J. Hunter III offering a second. It passed on a 4-0 vote with Commissioner Ronald Gatling absent.

Early then asked the board to support a grant application, also to the Rural Center, for Metal Tech. The Murfreesboro-based company is in the process of performing a $2 million expansion, according to Early. The expansion will add 20 additional jobs to the facility.

The grant request would provide $100,000 in funds through a Building Reuse and Restoration Occupied Building Grant. The county match is $5,000.

“You will recover that money in the first year of the new tax valuation after the renovation project,” Early told the board.

Hunter made the motion to approve the grant application request with Commissioner William F. Mitchell Jr. offering a second. The measure passed without opposition.