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Loan for upcoming bakery on agenda
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Loan for upcoming bakery on agenda

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City Hall

The Morganton City Council will consider two business-related projects when it meets at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Doughnuts could be getting a whole lot holier if a business loan on the agenda for the Morganton City Council’s meeting gets approved.

Matthew and Elizabeth Herrington applied for a Community Development Block Grant small business loan of $30,000 to help get the bakery they hope to open, Divinity Donuts & Bakery LLC, up and running.

Divinity would be at 318 Bouchelle St., which housed St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church from 1949-2013 until it merged with St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and services moved to the St. Mary’s building, according to episcopalassetmap.org. The former church is just across and diagonal from the downtown Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel on Bouchelle Street.

If opened according to plan, the bakery would sell doughnuts, cakes, cupcakes, pies, breads, cookies, coffee and, eventually, lunch items, according to information from the city. It also could employee three full-time and four part-time employees.

Council members will vote on entering the loan agreement with the Herringtons at their 6 p.m. Monday meeting.

Second project

Also on the agenda is a public hearing and consideration of entering an economic development agreement for a project local leaders are calling “Project Glides” that entails a local company expanding its operation.

While the project name is being kept confidential, an address given for the project in a previous county commissioner’s meeting was 115 Wamsutta Mill Road. That’s the same address as furniture company Ekornes, which announced plans to expand in early November.

Capital investment for the project is expected to be about $10 million, and the expansion would create 80 new jobs, according to the city.

Burke County already has approved the economic development incentives package for the project, which is for a grant equivalent to 50% of the taxes paid on the new taxable investment for the first five years. That would put the city paying $28,500 per year for five years.

Council members also will consider approving the city’s share, $12,500, in administrative costs for a $500,000 building reuse grant the county will apply for to help cover the costs of the expansion, information from the city said. The county also will contribute $12,500 to administrative costs.

Other items on the agenda are lumped into the consent agenda, or items the council is expected to approve in one sweeping motion.

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One such item on the agenda is an audit contract with Elliott Davis for the 2020-21 fiscal year for $39,750.

The city has contracted with Elliott Davis for the annual audit for years, and in March 2019, the firm submitted not-to-exceed numbers for four additional years. That included this year’s costs, plus a cost of $40,500 for the 2021-22 fiscal year and $41,250 for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Hunting season

Council members also will vote on whether to apply to be part of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s 2021-22 urban archery hunting season, which runs from mid-January to mid-February, information from the city said.

Since 2015-16, the city council has approved participation in the season which allows properly licensed hunters to hunt deer with a bow on certain properties in the city.

Hunters cannot hunt on city-, county- or state-owned property in the central business district (downtown Morganton), on public parks or recreational properties, on school properties or within 300 feet of surrounding school properties or on tracts of land that are less than 5 acres in size.

Also on the consent agenda is:

Approval of meeting minutes from the council’s Feb. 1 regular meeting and a closed session held that night.

A $7,250 budget amendment for the Morganton Department of Public Safety to appropriate funding from the Public Safety Drug Enforcement committed fund balance to purchase service weapons.

A $797,610 budget amendment to separate paving expenses from the general construction expense line in the greenway project fund.

Updating pay ranges congruent with a review by the city’s human resources department, which reviews about a third of the city’s pay ranges to keep them competitive with other employers.

The extension of COVID-19 emergency leave through June 30 for city employees.

Approval of a governmental entity certificate of resolution from TD Bank for a new escrow account the city is opening.

City council meetings are live streamed on the city’s YouTube page and on CoMPAS Channel 2.

Chrissy Murphy is a staff writer and can be reached at cmurphy@morganton.com or at 828-432-8941. Follow @cmurphyMNH on Twitter.

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