Caldwell County economic development group economized

Jun. 12, 2013 @ 07:09 AM

Caldwell County economic development officials hope to be able to give a boost to a fund intended to help businesses redevelop abandoned sites.

The Economic Development Council has managed to hold down its expenses this year, and with the fiscal year winding down has spent less than 70 percent of the $373,000 that was in its budget. Currently there’s about $113,000 left.

Members of the EDC board voted Tuesday to have Executive Director Deborah Murray ask the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners to put about $50,000 into the EDC’s underutilized site program.

That program’s fund currently has about $80,000, but Murray said that the intention has been to try to grow it to $200,000 or more.

“This money would really be used for, probably, demolition,” because a business that chooses to move to a site with an abandoned factory or other old, unused building might prefer to clear the property and build new, she said. That could incur costs of $100,000 to $150,000 to haul the debris away.

The board also voted in favor of asking the county commissioners to dedicate $2,500 from Duke Energy to the fund.