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Morganton City Council

Local manufacturing company plans expansion, 30 new jobs anticipated

City to submit grant application for project

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Morganton’s manufacturing footprint is expected to grow after a local manufacturing company asked the city to help it apply for a building reuse grant.

Project Vette, the codename officials are using for the project, in collaboration with Burke Development Inc., asked the city of Morganton to apply for a $200,000 grant as recommended by the Rural Infrastructure Authority.

The company, which has not been named, is described as a well-established local manufacturing business, and is looking to upgrade its current facility in Morganton.

The upgrade would see an investment of about $6.9 million from the company, and would add 30 new jobs. Alan Wood, president and CEO of BDI, said the average pay for the jobs would be more than $40,000 per year.

If awarded, the grant requires a 5% local match, which would be split between the city and county. That would see each entity paying $5,000 for the match.

Morganton City Council members unanimously voted Monday night at their regular meeting to submit the grant application and provide their share of the local match. Wood said BDI would go before the Burke County Board of Commissioners at their October meeting to ask for their portion of the local match.

In other building news, a six lot subdivision could be coming to Hopewell Road after the council approved a preliminary plat approval for the project.

Mansfield Carolina Holdings proposes six lots along Hopewell Road for a subdivision to be called Mansfield Village. The council approved the preliminary plat, and voted to allow the developer to make a payment in lieu of dedicated open space that’s required by the city’s zoning ordinance.

The city also received a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for phases I and II of its creek restoration project at Bethel Park.

This grant comes in alongside a $500,000 grant the city already received from the N.C. Land and Water Fund for the restoration, plus $409,107 in matching funds that have been budgeted and $278,203 for in-kind work city employees will perform to assist with the first phase of renovations, according to information The News Herald previously published about the project.

The project will aim to increase stream capacity by building out creek banks to alleviate flooding, something the park is notorious for after periods of heavy rain in the city. Some of that build out is expected to cause some amenities to be relocated, and the city has considered adding additional amenities like shade areas, picnic shelters and workout stations. The PARTF grant will help cover the costs of amenities at the park, said Mayor Ronnie Thompson.

In other news from the meeting, drivers in the city may be glad to hear a few more roads than expected will be resurfaced this year after bids came in under budget.

The city had several resurfacing projects already budgeted for the year with a total of $985,000. However, the lowest bid, from Conover-based J.T. Russell & Sons Inc., came in more than $130,000 under budget.

Instead of cutting off the repaving projects at the amount bid, the city council opted to award the company a contract not to exceed $985,000 and fit in as much more resurfacing as possible while prices are low.

Council members also approved closing an unused portion of Agnes Street and discontinuing pay-per-view services for CoMPAS.

The city council will meet again Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Morganton City Hall.

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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