RALEIGH — North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla III and Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development Dr. Patricia Mitchell announced recently the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 14 grant and loan requests totaling $3,828,262. The requests include commitments to create a total of 272 new jobs, including assistance in the local area.
The RIA reviews and approves funding requests for grant programs operated by the Rural Economic Development Division at N.C. Commerce. Grants support infrastructure development, building renovation and site improvements.
The RIA approved a total of 10 grants under the state’s Building Reuse program:
In the Vacant Building Category, North Wilkesboro was approved for a $50,000 grant to support the reuse of a vacant building that will facilitate a four-job expansion by Carolina Heritage Cabinetry. The company manufactures custom cabinetry and specialty woodworking. The project upgrades roofing, HVAC and electrical systems, and upfits office space. The building was constructed in 1952 and has been vacant one year. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $167,586.
The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.
The RIA approved requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program. Including the town of Elkin’s request, which is an amendment to add $148,259 to an existing $500,000 grant made in 2013 to help pay for pumping station improvements to benefit Pittsburg Glass Works (PGW). Bids for this project have exceeded the previously allocated grant.
PGW, a manufacturer of automotive glass, employs 150 workers at the site, having exceeded its hiring requirements as part of the initial award. The cooling and washing of glass is an integral part of PGWs’ production, and the lack of a reliable method by which to transport wastewater jeopardizes the company’s ability to retain and create jobs.
The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to units of local government in tier one and tier two counties to assist with job creation. Funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure and should be used for projects that are reasonably expected to result in the creation of new jobs.