Union County approves $21 million industrial park

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Union County commissioners passed a proposed industrial park Monday with no discussion about it.

The 355-acre plot of land is along Goldmine Road near the airport and leaders expect it to attract large companies, investments and jobs.

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“We think this property really gives us that opportunity,” deputy county Manager Michelle Lancaster said. “Where it’s located has some benefits to some of our other industrial areas, and we think it’ll be competitive in the region.”

County commissioners unanimously approved spending $21.2 million in bonds to buy this land and build a pump station to service the industrial park.

The cost per acre is more than $50,000.

The county’s plan is to sell individual parcels to companies that would then build their facility.

“Is there risk? Absolutely,” Commission Chairman Richard Helms said. “There’s always risk but for you to grow, you have to take some risk. So, we’re taking a calculated risk.”

Commissioners held a public hearing before their vote and no one spoke.

Several residents, who are opposed to the industrial park, didn’t know about the proposed industrial park or Monday night’s vote.

“When you mentioned it, I was extremely shocked because that’s a major investment for the community and nobody got anything in the mail,” a resident said. “Nobody said anything about it. It seems like there should be a community meeting before anything like that should ever be voted on.”

That resident said she fears the industrial park will disrupt the rural feel of the area and lead to more traffic.

Helms said they’re trying to keep industrial area together and the park will help balance the county’s tax base.

“With our tax base out of kilter like it is, it’s about 83/17, which it should be 60/40 for commercial, residential,” Helms said. “This is trying to create an opportunity for companies to move to Union County.”

Residents said if their property taxes don’t go up, they’re afraid their property value will go down with an industrial park around the corner.

The county will finalize the purchase of the land in the next few weeks, then start marketing to companies.