Archived Story

Industrial park certification process under way

Published 5:21pm Thursday, July 18, 2013

Beaufort County is in the process of having the Chocowinity Industrial Park certified.

Bob Heuts, the county’s economic developer, said having the industrial park certified has its advantages.

“The process of economic development sometimes moves very quickly. The more uncertainty you take away from a proposed location or an eligible location, it helps that process,” said Heuts on Thursday. “When someone comes in and looks at a site that’s certified, they can be assured that all of the issues have been taken off the table, have been identified and remediate prior to them taking that site. It allows us to move the process along much more quickly. It also allows us a bit more notoriety through some of the state channels that are used to promote properties in North Carolina. To have a N.C. Department of Commerce certification puts in a different category than a normal piece of industrial property might be in.”

The Wooten Co. has been hired to start the process to certify Chocowinity Industrial Park. The Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, at its July 1 meeting, unanimously voted to award the $16,950 contact to the Wooten Co., which will work Froehling & Robertson, which will provide environmental services for the certification process. That process incudes a geotechnical study and an archeological report.

Under terms of the contract, Wooten Co. would provide a site-development estimate for the industrial park, a master development plan and identify “buildable acres” within the industrial park.

“We’ve got some support from North Carolina Northeast to help pay for this,” Heuts told the board at the meeting.

The 270-acre industrial park is bounded by U.S. Highway 17 and Frederick Road south of Chocowinity. It has a 12-inch diameter natural gas line, a main line Norfolk Southern railroad track and a Progress Energy 115 KV transmission line on site, with a substation less than a mile away. The county provides water and sewer to the industrial park.

“A certified site reduces the risk associated with development by providing detailed and current

information about a site including price and availability, utilities, access, environmental concerns, and potential site development costs,” according to a N.C. Department of Commerce document about certified sites in the state.

The Certified Sites Program allows counties and municipalities to submit sites in one of two categories — an industrial site, which is defined as a single contiguous, buildable parcel or an industrial/business park, sites that are intended to be subdivided because of topography or other natural features, or the desire of the site sponsor.

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