Boyd: Pinebridge project ‘moving along’
BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Economic Development Commission Board of Directors at its regular meeting Friday, March 22, received several reports and updates.
Mayland Community College President Dr. John Boyd gave an update about the Pinebridge building project.
Boyd said the Pinebridge project is “moving along,” and demolition and roof work should begin in early April. Boyd added he expects construction work to be active on the site for the rest of the year.
Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Patti Jensen provided a workforce development update. Jensen said the program is progressing and the Chamber received more than 600 responses from a student survey about what students want from workforce development.
Spruce Pine Main Strete Executive Director Libby Phillips updated the board about grant awards. Phillips said Main Street awarded DEAP Entrepreneur Grants to Yummi America by Las Cruces, Poppy’s Wildcraft and Avril’s Creative Art Gallery.
The three downtown businesses were chosen as recipients for the grant based on their participation in a six-week small business course, their strong business plans and their compatibility with Main Street’s ideas and vision for downtown. Their length of leases signed and economic impact on the area was also considered.
The EDC unanimously approved a decision to reimburse Main Street for the grant money.
“This grant program is proven to work,” Phillips said. “We hope we’ll continue to receive support from the EDC in the future.”
EDC Director Mickey Duvall said the Henredon site had drawn significant interest in 2019 and the EDC is working with two hotel developers on potential projects in Mitchell County.
Bakersville Mayor Charles Vines said he and other representatives from Bakersville have a construction bid meeting this week for the project to replace old water lines within town limits.
County Manager Kathy Young said litter is a significant issue in Mitchell County. She added she had contacted the North Carolina Department of Transportation, who provided the county with orange vests and trash bags, which Young hopes can be used in countywide cleanup efforts.
County Commissioner Matthew “Vern” Grindstaff, who was attending the meeting in place of EDC Board member Danny Burleson, said he had received several personal messages from people from out of town who are making plans to visit Mitchell County this summer.
He said one of the frequent requests he hears from people is the county add a suitable place to play pickleball.