Economic development focus of meeting

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Local government officials and others are scheduled to receive an update on economic-development efforts in Beaufort County during a meeting Tuesday.

Beaufort County and the Mid-East Commission, a regional planning agency that serves Beaufort County and has its headquarters in the county, are hosting a 6 p.m. dinner meeting at Beaufort County Community College. The meeting’s tentative agenda includes the economic-development presentation by Bob Heuts, the county’s director of economic development, and other updates from Mid-East Commission personnel, including executive director Timmy Baynes, Kevin Richards, Janet Dodge, Bryant Buck, Walter Dorsey and Annette Eubanks.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for all of us to get together and enjoy some fellowship while hearing the presentations. Please encourage all of your governing board members, managers and clerks to attend,” County Manager Randell Woodruff wrote memorandum sent to the county’s municipal officials and others. “If successful and well-attended, we hope to be able to make this an annual gathering.”

Mid-East Commission representatives could discuss the agency’s plan to build a new office complex at the site of the former Beaufort County Home adjacent to the Beaufort County Health Department.

In May, the county commissioners’ decided to proceed with a plan to allow the Mid-East Commission to build its new headquarters building on the former Beaufort County Home site. The proposed new headquarters is expected to be from 15,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet.

Earlier this year, Baynes and Doug Mercer, chairman of the Mid-East Commission’s board of directors, made their case for the need for a new facility. They explained the land would be owned not by the commission but by the Mid-East Development Corp., the commission’s development entity.

The estimated cost of the project is $3.5 million, which commission officials believe is a high estimate.

Baynes has said the commission hopes to start construction of its new headquarters toward the end of this year.

Baynes also said the commission wants to remain in Washington despite a movement to relocate its headquarters to a more central location in the counties it serves, which are Beaufort, Pitt, Martin, Bertie and Hertford counties.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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