Monday, 09 September 2019 20:52

Commissioners updated on construction projects, economic development

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The Richmond County Board of Commissioners listens to updates by County Manager Bryan Land during the September meeting last week. The Richmond County Board of Commissioners listens to updates by County Manager Bryan Land during the September meeting last week. Chuck Thames - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Board of Commissioners managed to save the county $750,000 in interest on the 2009 school bond with approval of a plan to refinance the $7.25 million loan at a lower interest rate.  


County Manager Bryan Land brought a request for approval to the commissioners. On a motion by Commissioner Don Bryant and a second by Commissioner Jimmy Capps, the refinancing was awarded to the lowest bidder, PNC Bank, with an interest rate of 1.9%. 

The current note was paying 3.85%. There were a total of eight bids placed ranging from 1.9% to 3.5%, according to Land. 

“The annual $75,000 savings will be passed along to the school system,” he said.   

Land updated the board on the Interstate 73/74 project, noting an award date for the final leg of the project in October of this year. The price tag has been increased from  an estimated $120 million to $160 million.

The Anson County pump station (for county water) will be relocated and updated to a new state-of-the-art facility with this project “at no cost to our Richmond County Water customers,” Land said. 

The N.C. Department of Transportation will pay the full project cost of approximately $2 million for the pump station portion of the highway project.  

Enviva, the new wood pellet plant located on N.C. 177 north of Hamlet, is now fully operational.  While they have had some normal start up challenges while coming online, Land told commissioners, “the operating staff is thrilled with the performance of the facility and the staff they currently have on board.” 

The total investment numbers for the facility have been updated from $120 million to $145 million.  

According to Land, this makes Enviva one of Richmond County’s top taxpayers.  

The Richmond County Airport will be the recipient of a $280,000 grant from the FAA to improve airfield lighting. Land noted this grant, like most airport projects, will cover 90% of the cost with only a 10% match required on the county’s behalf.  

The county’s latest shell build project is nearing completion, with interior finishing work starting soon. The contractor, Southern Builders, expects a completion date of late September to early October.  

The building is already spoken for and Land has been meeting with the new tenants on finalizing interior design needs.  

“Shell Building No. 5 has been a great success for us,” he said. “I’m thrilled with the outcome of placing a tenant prior to completion of construction.” 

Martie Butler, Economic Developer Martie Butler briefed commissioners on a recent grant the county assisted Novipax with obtaining. 

Novipax, was formerly Sealed Air Corp, is currently planning a $5 million investment. The grant will assist with  the upfit of the current facility to accommodate the expansion.  

The $200,000 grant can be used to cover up to 50% of the building reuse upfit cost. The expansion is expected to increase the Novipax workforce by approximately 25 people.  

Another local industry, Volumetric Building, has made the list of Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 fastest growing companies in America. 

The company, also known as Vaughan Buckley Construction, landed at No.  494 out of 5,000 companies.  

While it has been on the 5,000 list for the past three years, this is the first time it has broken the 500 mark.  The company posted a growth rate of 891% for the past year.  

“This company is amazing,” Butler said. “They are growing by leaps and bounds and are getting quite a bit of recognition for all their innovative products such as modular apartments, multi-family housing and hotels.”