Grant opens doors for new jobs

Published 9:16 pm Thursday, December 11, 2014

New car dealership coming to Washington

Brian Alligood, Washington’s city manager, is confident the beneficiary of grant funding will bring new jobs to the city.

During its meeting Monday, the City Council unanimously authorized the city manager to sign required documents related to seeking a grant to help pay for sewer-infrastructure improvements. Those improvements would support a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership that plans to locate in Beaufort County and wants to be annexed into the city limits, according to a city document. The new dealership plans to create about 33 jobs, according to the document. The dealership pledges to create at least 21 jobs, the document notes.

The project’s cost estimate is $220,000. The grant amount being requested is $210,900 (22 jobs at $10,000 per job) and requires a 5-percent match ($11,100) from the city, according to a memorandum from Matt Rauschenbach, the city’s chief financial officer and administrative services director, to the mayor and council members. The dealership would reimburse the city for the match, according to the memorandum.

The proposed improvements include extending the gravity sewer line that serves the area of Page Road and U.S. Highway 264 near the Beaufort County Industrial Park and Pecheles Toyota.

“I have a question about the number of jobs being created — 22 jobs at $10,000 each. I was just curious … is there a time requirement about when they’re supposed to generate the 33 jobs, or however how many — the 22 jobs at $10,000. Is it supposed to be 12 months, 24 months, whatever it is? If at the end, the conclusion of the time period, if they don’t meet that goal, do we have to reimburse them (the state) at $10,000 (for each job short of the goal)?” Councilman Bobby Roberson asked.

“Once the grant agreement is awarded and signed, they have 18 months to create those jobs, and they have to hold them for six months. Once they hold them for six months, they they’re relieved from that grant requirement. If they fail to meet that requirement, then there would be a clawback to the dealership of that amount of money,” said Alligood, noting that only 22 jobs would be used to satisfy the grant requirement because the city is seeking $220,000 in grant funding.

The dealership would reimburse the city $10,000 for each of the 22 jobs not created, according to Alligood. Then, the city would reimburse the state, he noted.

If awarded, the grant would come from the Rural Economic Development Division (Rural Center) of the N.C. Department of Commerce.

An ElectriCities grant is being sought to pay for the cost of the Mid-East Commission preparing the Rural Center grant application. That cost, according to a city document, is $2,500. ElectriCities is a trade organization that provides administrative support and other services such as training for N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency members, including Washington, and members of the power agency that serves the western part of the state.



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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