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Industrial Park buys 130 acres

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lincoln County has big plans for the Lincoln County Industrial Park, which has become the center of controversy after the Maiden Town Council announced its intentions to sue the county for a breach of contract regarding sewer services.

The county foresees a great deal of growth in the future, we are still developing out there right now, it’s not a completed project. In fact the county intends to purchase an additional 130 acres next year due to the interest in the area. The reality is we only have two lots left. That is why we’re adding an additional 130 acres to the park.

In order for the park to continue to grow, Lincoln County commissioners wanted larger sewer lines with a higher capacity so the Lincoln EDA could recruit more businesses that require more water.

The Maiden line has the ability to transport about 500,000 gallons of sewage a day, while the line Lincoln County is constructing will have the capacity of moving 700,000-800,000 gallons per day. Those restraints are limiting growth where there is tremendous potential, so the county commissioners decided it was time to construct their own line.

The county began planning a four-mile sewer line from the Lincolnton Water Treatment Plant to the park about four years ago for a cost of 850,000 construction begun about three months ago and the project is already about 40 percent complete and due to be finished by the end of January 2008. It’s going to greatly increase the sewer capacity at the park and will allow LEDA to continue to recruit.

Between the larger sewer line and the additional land the park will have a lot of added potential that it doesn’t have now. The interesting situation is we have more demand than land is available. It’s a frustrating situation to not have places to put everyone.

The LCIP is already home to multimillion dollar corporations like RSI Home Products, Cataler, Crate & Barrel and Big Dogs. Together the 10 companies in the park produce more than $149,000 in revenue for the Town of Maiden thrugh sewer utility bills. Now, Lincoln County is running it’s own sewer line to the park and provide service for an indefinite amount of time.

Lincoln County agreed to reimburse Maiden for the cost of construction of the current line for about $476,000 with the agreement also requiring Maiden to build a new pumping station. Maiden has provided sewer service to the park since October 2000, while Lincoln County provides the water. The arrangement went well for many years. The county informed Maiden two years ago in a letter tht the county intended to terminate the agreement when the new proejct was in place and operational.

Maiden’s biggest concern is the loss of revenue and will easily exceed $100,000 a year if Lincoln County proceeds with their plans. If Lincoln County intends to end the contract with Maiden, the town wants to collect monetary damages for the lost revenue.

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