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Local partners celebrate groundbreaking for water tank at Burke Business Park
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Local partners celebrate groundbreaking for water tank at Burke Business Park

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Local partners for the Burke Business Park met Tuesday at the business park location off Kathy Road to celebrate the groundbreaking for a 500,000-gallon water tank.

Representatives for the partners in the business park project (Burke County, city of Morganton and towns of Valdese, Drexel and Rutherford College) attended the celebration.

"The building of the water tank at the business park is a final piece of infrastructure needed at the site," said Johnnie Carswell, chairman of the Burke County Board of Commissioners. "With this, we can move forward in our efforts to locate new or expanding businesses at the site.”

The water tank, which is needed for fire suppression by companies locating in the park, is being funded by a grant provided through the North Carolina's Infrastructure Development Fund and 25% matching funds provided by the business park partners. The project costs are estimated to be about $2.3 million, including contingencies.

Morganton Mayor Ronnie Thompson said he was pleased to see the project moving forward.

"Burke Business Park is now ready to go," he said. "We appreciate all the partners that have participated in the project, and we are excited about the potential businesses that will be locating here.”

Burke Business Park is a fully graded, 83-acre site. When its build-out is complete, it will have the capacity to accommodate nearly 1 million square feet of industrial or distribution space.

Alan Wood, president and CEO of Burke Development Inc., said, "With the location immediately adjacent to Interstate 40, and easy access to markets all across the Eastern United States, this location should rank high on the list of available locations not only in North Carolina, but throughout the Southeast.”

The tank will be built by Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors LLC, with a pump station being completed by Locke-Lane Construction Inc. Design engineering work was completed by West Consultants PLLC, with McAdams and Associates handling grant administration. Burke County will oversee the grant process, and when completed, the tank and property will be owned and operated by the city of Morganton.

Burke Development Inc. is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. The organization works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit targeted industries to Burke County.

For more information about Burke Development, visit

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