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State to Pay for Road Extension

A $233,000 state grant will pay to extend a road through the Lincoln County Industrial Park, opening up 36 acres fronting U.S. 321 to development, county economic development officials said Tuesday. An undisclosed company that has expressed interest I developing 10 acres of the site is expected to sign an option within the next two weeks, said Barry Matherly, director of the Lincoln Economic Development Association. “It’s amazing what a new road will do,” Matherly said during the board’s annual retreat. The county has been negotiating with the company for about six months, he said. “They wanted to be assured if they built a business, we would build the road,” he said. “This grant takes care of that.” Construction will begin immediately for the 1,000-foot road extension, which is expected to be completed in March or April, he said. The new road would extend from a cul-de-sac at Cataler Drive. Lincoln officials applied in October for the grant, which is administered through the N.C. Department of Transportation Discretionary Project Fund. The county received preliminary approval last month. Now that the grant is finalized, road construction will move ahead swiftly, Matherly said. In signing the option, the park’s prospective new tenant will be making a “good faith deposit” on the site, he said. “What that shows us is they are very serious.” If the company decides not to go through with the project, it would lose a deposit that Matherly calls substantial. At this point, Matherly said it’s unclear what the company’s total investment would be, but the land alone will cost more than $200,000. The new company would join Cataler North America, RSI Home Products, American Tire Distributors and Robb & Stucky, which occupy a total of 1 million square feet in the Finger Mill Road park just off U.S. 321. Lincoln County has extended water and sewer lines to 350 of the industrial park’s 500 acres, 140 of which have been developed, Matherly said.