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Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport Celebrates Future Growth

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport Celebrates Future Growth

Completion of infrastructure will result in future business park at the airport

Lincoln County, NC – Lincoln Economic Development Association along with Lincoln County, City of Lincolnton and the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport jointly hosted a ribbon cutting celebration for the completion of the sewer line to serve the airport and debut of the future Airport Business Park. Participating in the program was Secretary Sharon Decker with the NC Department of Commerce, Phillip Paradice with the Atlanta Region EDA, Bo King, LEDA Chairman, Chairman Alex Patton, Lincoln County, Mayor John Gilleland, City of Lincolnton and Leon Harmon, Airport Authority.

In 2009 the Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) initiated an Airport Business Park study to examine the potential for a business park to be developed near the airport. By examining the development opportunities in the area, the study revealed the suitability for larger scale development, acreage yield, preliminary sites, rough grading and infrastructure necessary to serve the proposed business park. The plan was completed as a joint project between LEDA, Lincoln County Planning & Inspections, and the City of Lincolnton Planning Department.

The study revealed that the existing property of 32 acres is considered to be developable and was determined compatible with the vision of a business park to be marketed to higher-end operations including corporate headquarters, research and design, light industrial, aeronautics and motor sports related companies.

Site preparation will require substantial grading, but will not require any additional fill material. The excavated material from the site could be used on the airport property for their proposed development of new hanger facilities, providing a savings in fill material.

Although the site was served by public water, improvements to the systems were completed in 2009. The study also indicated that significant upgrades were needed for the sanitary sewer service but no specific plan had been developed. In 2010 Lincoln County, City of Lincolnton and LEDA met to discuss the options available to address the sewer service only to discover that there were grant opportunities available. With the assistance of Centralina Council of Government (CCOG), Lincoln County began writing the grant to apply for funding of the sewer project.

The airport sewer line extension was made possible through a US Department of Commerce-Community Trade and Assistance Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant. The total project cost was $1,717,500 of which $1,631,625 was provided through the EDA grant funds and $85,875 was a local match provided by Lincoln County and the City of Lincolnton.

As a result of the sewer line project, the vision by all entities to provide additional hangers and develop a business park surrounding the airport can now come to fruition.

“Lincoln County is filled with foresight and vision; I want to commend you for that forward thinking and investment in order to prepare for future economic times. Economic development is a community effort and will not happen if does not start at a community level. Growth is coming and it appears from my visit today that Lincolnton and Lincoln County has a handle on that future growth.” Secretary Sharon Decker, North Carolina Department of Commerce.

“It is wonderful to see leadership come together both public and private to form the type of economic opportunities you are reaching for here in Lincoln County. Communities like this identify their assets and look to build on those assets and that is exactly what is happening here today. Lincoln County was among only a few who were awarded this grant and you should certainly be commended for this accomplishment.” Phillip Paradice, Director of the Atlanta Region EDA.

“This is another exciting day for Lincoln County. This project opens up an entirely new sector of businesses that can and will call Lincoln County home. I want to thank LEDA for their efforts as well as the US Department of Commerce. Without this grant this project would have taken many

years to materialize. We anxiously await the day this park will create jobs for the citizens of Lincoln County. Thanks to all of those involved in making this a reality.” Alex Patton, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

Mayor John Gilleland, City of Lincolnton, “My hope is in three to five years we can come back here and talk about the great success the business park associated with the airport has been.”

Leon Harmon, Lincolnton-Lincoln County Regional Airport, “We have had a lot of growth out here in the past few years but there were two things that really held up growth of the airport, that being water and sewer and an ILS for the airport. The county several years ago ran water to the airport and all that was left was the sewer which is why we are here today. I would like to thank Martha Lide for her part in helping to write the grant for the sewer line and also Lincoln Economic Development Association for having the foresight to use of the airport for economic growth.”

“What a strategic opportunity to make our airport an economic player, says Bo King, Chairman for LEDA. This, in addition to our existing industrial parks, will increase our exposure to other categories of operations that we have not had in the past.”

About LEDA

Lincoln Economic Development Association is a private, 501c(3) non-profit corporation charged with facilitating industrial and office development in Lincolnton and Lincoln County. LEDA’s mission is to foster an economic environment that promotes an enhancement of the standard of living by creating more and better jobs for the citizens of Lincolnton and Lincoln County and an increased and diversified tax base to provide needed community services. The organization’s goals include retention and expansion of existing business; attraction of diversified base industries, improvement of the overall business climate within Lincolnton and Lincoln County and growing stage 2 entrepreneurial companies.

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