Davidson mulls additional $2 million grant

Additional investment would flow jobs into the county
Dec. 31, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

An additional loan package is being considered by Davidson County Commissioners to boost the progress of a proposed industrial park off Interstate 85.

Up to $7 million in economic development Community Development Block Grant funding has been made available to the county, and a $2 million Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant application was made to acquire additional funds through EnergyUnited via the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another $2 million interest-free loan reportedly could be procured, should the commissioners choose to apply for it.

"We were contacted by EnergyUnited that there might be $2 million more available," said Larry Potts, chairman of the commissioners and EDC executive committee member. "We're looking at a package to see what will benefit the county most. We'll pick out what is in the best interest of the county and go from there."

Steve Googe, executive director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission, said Friday these loan packages have been 12 months in the making and could help complete Phase 1 of the proposed industrial park.

"We had a layout for the business park in three phases," Googe said. "Ideally, we would complete Phase 1 and then quickly come back and begin Phase 2 without having to chase more money. We took the $7 million from the state as the base to develop the park because that is the first thing we received. That was at 2 percent interest. If we can do better, that would be in our best interest."

Potts agrees with that conclusion. He tentatively endorsed the idea of procuring more money for the project as he spoke about the idea Friday.

"I don't know if [the additional $2 million] were unused funds or additional funds," Potts said. "We didn't seek the loan out. They contacted us. Interest-fee money is always good."

The hope is that through completion of three stages to bring an industrial park to Linwood, additional investment and jobs will flow into the county.

"During the discussion with EnergyUnited, it was noted we could go back for a second $2 million grant from EnergyUnited," Googe said. "Sometime in January, we'll sit down with the commissioners and make the presentation to them."

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.