Saturday, June 4, 2016

More Megasite Concerns

Why yes, we do post letters to the editor and news from Randolph County that effects Guilford County and Greensboro:

Please note that this coming Monday, June 6th, 2016, at 6pm is the Randolph County Commissioners’ meeting for June, 2016.  

The agenda is included below as part of this email; if you can attend, please do so.  Highlighted in red are a couple of items that may be of interest and somewhat summarized below.

1)  West Randleman Business Park item was approved by commissioners to be pursued via a loan of $762,000 in February, 2000.  Randolph County agreed to pay interest costs that was estimated then to be $53,000—$58,000 per year.  I think the Park only contains an emergency response facility.  I also think the offer to purchase the remaining property is in the neighborhood of $400,000ish.  It is assumed that the market value is in the neighborhood of the original price of $762,500, and since the County cannot sell for less than the market value, I think the plan is to "sell @ market value" while giving the buyer incentives to offset the differences from market value ($762K??) versus offered value ($400Kish???).  I think the incentives are centered around the buyer agreeing to provide 50ish jobs over the next 5 years or so.  Not sure of complete accuracy of this paragraph; however, the gist of the paragraph is believed to be correct. 
-  Specific verbiage from minutes of February 7, 2000, commissioners’  meeting states: “Bonnie Renfro, President of the EDC, stated that Randolph County has very few industrial sites or facilities available for industries seeking placement here.  Therefore, EDC has purchased an option on a 47.3 acre industrial tract in Randleman that can be marketed, developed, and sold to support quality economic development to benefit Randolph County.  Ms. Renfro said that EDC is seeking a 100% loan of $762,500 through voluntary partnership of local financial institutions who are members of Randolph County Partnership, the private membership of the EDC.  The EDC board  is requesting that the County pay the interest costs associated with the purchase, which should be $53,000—$58,000 per year, depending upon the interest rate.
-  On motion of Frye, seconded by Davis, the Board unanimously agreed to pay interest costs on the loan for the EDC’s purchase of the 47.3-acre tract located at the intersection of Commonwealth Road and Island Ford Road in Randleman.

As I understand one of the suggested items of the recently developed strategic plan for Randolph County is the desire by our economic developers to have multiple ‘site-ready’ sites for economic development.  Apparently this Randleman site, available for the past 16 years, has not been successful in helping fulfill that role.

2)  Reference the "Approve Repayment Agreement with the Department of Commerce-PetPro ResourcesBonnie Renfro.  I have heard that PetPro may have entered bankruptcy.  You may remember that PetPro received a grant from the State of NC to set up manufacturing in Seagrove (I think utilizing an existing building) during the past couple years or so.  Randolph commissioners approved support for PetPro receiving the grant, and Randolph may have had to put some matching funds into the effort for PETPro to get the State grant??.  Now that PETPro has entered into bankruptcy, I understand that the State of NC wants their grant dollars returned by Randolph County (think this is somewhere around $100,000?).  I don’t think this information was made available to the commissioners when they originally approved support to the PETPro grant.  Regardless, it looks like the people of Randolph County are again being asked to ‘bail out’ County action.   As stated above I am not sure of the complete accuracy of this paragraph; however, the gist of the paragraph is believed to be correct. 

3)  It seems that the above two items certainly have a correlation to the megasite efforts including some of the people supporting/working the megasite efforts.

Your attendance and support continues to be important as we continue to address the megasite concern. 

Thanks, and hope to see you Monday night.

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson is a resident and farmer in Randolph County and has been a leader in the fight against the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.