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LEDA Unveils 5-Year Plan

Lincoln Economic Development Association officials put a positive spin on the county’s future in spite of the bleak economic picture regionally. The group held its annual membership meeting Thursday at Verdict Ridge Country Club, and members and staff spoke positively about business in Lincoln County. “I’d like to tell you we’ve had a bang-up year like last,” said Chairman Doug Core, “but that’s not the case.” However, Core said, the year was not unsuccessful. He noted that Lincoln, unlike neighboring counties, lost very little industry this year. Core said diversity is an important aspect of the county’s businesses. “We need to keep that base diversity and not go in any one direction,” Core said. He noted the importance of working with existing businesses like The Timken Company, which is competing for three projects which could bring millions of dollars in investments to the county. Core also presented LEDA’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan. The plan includes: 2002-2003: A 100-acre expansion to the Lincoln County Industrial Park. It will be expanded to the west onto the Schrum property. The property faces US 321. This project will cost $2.5 million. 2003-2004: A $100,000 update to Indian Creek Industrial Park. This will include signage, landscaping and entrances. It is hoped that a modern look will help retain and attract industry. 2003-2005: The development of a new industrial or office park in eastern Lincoln. The expansion of NC 16 will attract businesses that consider US 321 too far for their needs. The cost will total $5 million. 2004-2005: A $1.1 million extension of water and sewer infrastructure to the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Airport, which will allow the county to compete for businesses that also have their own aircraft. 2004-2005: A $100,000 update to the Clark Creek Industrial Park. This update will be similar to the Indian Creek plans. 2005-2006: The installation of infrastructure to the Lincoln County Industrial Park property on the east of Finger Mill Road. This includes roads, water and sewer, and will cost $2 million. 2006-2007: The development of a new industrial site that is not tied to any existing sites. The cost of this project is estimated at $5 million. The total cost of the five-year projects is $15.8 million.