BY JOHN H. WALKER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The Tarboro Town Council handled several issues Monday night, including providing funding to preserve the creation of jobs by Nash Building Systems after funding was denied by the now non-existent Rural Center.
In February, Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker sent out a press release announcing that Nash, a manufacturer of metal roofing, metal building components and pre-engineered steel buildings owned by Tarboro businessman Brent Nash, Jr., would move its operations to 1801 Anaconda Road at the end of March.
Nash moved into a 241,758 square foot building located on 5.55 acres that was the former home of Saving Source Direct and has been vacant since Cox Enterprises sold the coupon house in 2009.
The move allowed Nash to preserve 10 jobs and create 29 more as the company said it planned to invest $2.2 million over the next three years.
By a 7-1 vote (Shepheard dissenting), the council agreed to a request to provide $33,333.33 — or one-third — of the $100,000 that was to come from the One North Carolina Fund.
Nash plans to create 29 jobs and invest $2.2 million over the next three years. The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $100,000.
Thus far, Nash has created 19 of the 29 jobs (66 percent). The grant was contingent upon proof of job creation and receipt of a local funding match.
The Rural Center denied the application before that organization ran into problems of its own.
Representatives of the Carolina Gateways Partnership told council they would also ask Edgecombe County Commissioners for $33,333.33 and anticipated it would be approved, although the county has not yet had the opportunity to discuss it.
It was also disclosed that the town had been asked by the Department of Commerce to sign off on the overall agreement so that Nash might begin drawing down funds.
Shepheard asked if the town had given any consideration to going back to the Department of Commerce for the money and was told that was not an option.
While Shepheard said a higher tax rate would allow the county to recoup its money at a faster pace, council member Rick Page said the investment meant the town was spending $1,269 per job for job creation and noted how inexpensive that amount was for job creation when compared to national numbers.
In other action, council:
• Unanimously approved the sale (subject to upset bid) of three properties (Sorey Avenue, Office Street and Memorial Avenue) to Jamie Hathaway Pollard for $1,200 total. If successful, Pollard said she would like to establish a memorial garden, a flower garden and eventually a community garden on the property.
She pointed out the area was part of a neighborhood community that was close-knit and would like to work to once again create that atmosphere.
• Unanimously approved a façade improvement program for downtown Tarboro. The project will be funded by a $4,000 Electricities grant, which will be matched by $4,000 approved in the FY 2013-2014 budget.
The program is a reimbursement 50 percent matching grant up to $2,000 with applications accepted until funds run out.
• Approved a professional services agreement with the Wooten Company for the federally mandated by-products study of water.
The study will be funded by an $18,400 grant from the Rural Center, which was approved by the state after funding was eliminated for the center, and $18,400 from the town.
• Approved the recommendation to appoint Morris Armstrong to another five-year term on the Redevelopment Commission at the October meeting.
The council also went into a 45-minute executive session without taking any action.