Northampton projects promote job growth
JACKSON — Projects that are bringing jobs and economic growth to Northampton County are moving ahead.
Last week the Northampton County Board of Commissioners approved several items related to the proposed Enviva project and industrial expansions to both Hampton Farms and Clements Mechanical.
Both the Enviva and Hampton Farms projects, when compete, will bring more than 100 jobs combined to the area. Meanwhile, the Clements Mechanical project will help retain more than 20 jobs.
Gary Brown, Northampton County Economic Development director, presented the board with five decision papers related to engineering services and grant administration services for Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) projects as well as an economic agreement between the county and Enviva.
The commissioners finalized the conveyance of 122 acres of land at the Northampton Commerce Park, located near Interstate 95, to Enviva for the construction of the wood pellet manufacturing plant.
The board approved an economic development agreement between the county and Enviva and authorized Chairwoman Fannie Greene, County Manager Wayne Jenkins and County Attorney Charles Vaughan to execute all such additional documents as may be necessary to effect this transaction, but not limited to all real property closing documents.
The agreement described the terms under which the property owned by the county is to be conveyed to Enviva and the return investment to be received by the county resulting from the capital improvements to be made on the property. The agreement also provides to the construction of grant-funded public infrastructure to support the Enviva project and the company’s participation in the county’s Capital Investment and Job Creation Grant Program, consistent with program guidelines.
When completed the facility will provide 62 full time jobs.
During his presentation, Brown introduced Glenn Gray, project manager for Enviva, and John McManus, counsel for the company.
Greene thanked Gray and McManus for attending the meeting.
“We thank you for the purport you’ve given Northampton County, we appreciate it so much,” she said.
“We’re excited on behalf of Enviva,” said McManus. “We’ve been waiting for these documents to get wrapped up.”
He added having the property secured has opened the door to getting things rolling on the project, including equipment purchases and RFQs (requests for quotations).
“When we leave the meeting I’ll authorize the engineer to put them (RFQs) on the street for people to do a certain amount of (land) clearing and grubbing for us,” he said. “So we’re moving forward. We need to be producing out of this facility by the fourth quarter next year.”
Additionally the commissioners selected McKim & Creed Engineering, Inc. to provide engineering services for the construction of water and wastewater infrastructure in support of the construction of the Enviva wood pellet manufacturing plant.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $3.64 million and the total CDBG-Economic Development grant awarded is $930,000 with funding derived from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.
Brown said a panel reviewed the two proposals submitted for engineering services utilizing a point system and McKim & Creed received the highest rated point total.
MA Engineering Consultants, Inc. was chosen to provide engineering services for the Hampton Farms economic development project for the construction of a natural gas pipeline extension.
Brown said in all two proposals were received after advertising. The proposals were reviewed and rated by a prescribed points schedule. MA Engineering Consultants was selected after rating the highest.
The extension will add approximately 38,000 feet of six-inch and 4,000 feet of two-inch natural gas distribution lines from Conway to Severn.
The total cost of the project is $1.13 million and the total CDBG-ED grant award is $630,000. The costs of the engineering services will derive from the CDBG grant.
In a separate motion, the commissioners also approved Progressive Resources and Opportunities (PRO) as the contract agent for the same project.
Brown said two proposals were received for grant administration services for the gas line expansion and PRO was selected utilizing the points system in place.
The costs related to the grant administration services will come from the CDBG.
Carter moved to approve the selection of PRO. The motion was seconded by Hester and passed without objection.
The extension of the natural gas line will result in the creation of 42 new jobs at Hampton Farms.
PRO was also selected for grant administrative services for the industrial expansion of Clements Mechanical, which will be located in the Northampton Commerce Park.
PRO will provide grant administration services in support of a CDBG-Small Business Entrepreneurial Assistance project to assist Clements Mechanical to construct a facility.
The 30,000 square foot industrial fabrication and operations facility will be constructed on a 40 acre parcel of land in the Commerce Park.
The company is an existing industrial mechanical contractor located in a rented building on Lowes Boulevard near Garysburg.
The new facility will help the business retain the 26 current jobs and provide additional capacities for business growth and job creation.
The estimated cost of the project is $1.15 million and the total CDGB-SBEA grant is $250,000. Cost for the grant administration services will come from the CDBG funds.