Proposal could create jobs

Published 6:59 pm Saturday, July 11, 2015

A proposed project that would expand an existing industry at the Beaufort County Industrial Park is scheduled to be discussed by the Washington City Council on Monday.

The council could endorse Beaufort County’s application for a building reuse grant for Project Acorn and approve the city paying half the cost of submitting the grant application and related administrative costs. The city’s projected cost is $9,250. Project Acorn, if funded, would allow Oak Ridge Metal Works to expand its facility from 22,000 square feet to 37,000 square feet.

Oak Ridge Metal Works, operating for about 30 months, currently employs 45 workers. The expansion would add 34 additional jobs, according to a city document. The average weekly wage for the new jobs is estimated at $1,044. The cost of the proposed expansion is $671,250, with the grant providing $335,625 toward the project. Oak Ridge Metal Works will reimburse the county for its contributions to the project, according to the document. The overall cost of the proposed project (expansion and equipment purchases) is $1.5 million, according to the document.

“The building owner will sign a promissory note as security for any claw-back if all the jobs are not created and maintained as required by the grant,” reads the document.

The grant is forgivable, based on creating the 34 jobs within 18 months and maintaining them for six months, the document notes.

In other business, the council will consider allowing peddlers on the city’s waterfront, a move that would open the door for food-cart vendors in the Stewart Parkway area. The council also will consider approving a standard contract regarding such vendors and a standard form for vendors seeking to sell on the waterfront to fill out and submit to the city for consideration.

If approved, three sites for vendors would be established on the waterfront: an area near the dockmaster’s station, an area near the corner of Respess Street and Stewart Parkway and an area near the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “Government” then “City Council” heading, then click “Meeting Agendas” on the menu to the right. Then click on the date for the appropriate agenda.




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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