County seeks grants for demolition projects
BAKERSVILLE – Mitchell County will apply for grant funding to assist in paying for two potential demolition projects related to economic development.
The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners adopted two resolutions Thursday authorizing the county to apply for grant funding from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority for the demolition of a 230,000-square-foot concrete pad at the site of the former Henredon facility near Altapass Highway and a vacant building – known as the Phillips building – located off Mountain Laurel Drive behind the Grassy Creek shopping center and near Spruce Pine Mica.
The purpose of the demolitions is to begin making the sites ready for possible development. Up to $75,000 in grant funding is available for buildings under 100,000 square feet, such as the Phillips building. For buildings over 100,000 square feet, up to $150,000 is available, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Both grants require a 25 percent match from the county, but Commissioner Keith Holtsclaw said during the meeting the match for the Phillips building could be reimbursed to the county. A stipulation connected to the grant is the sites cannot be used for locating public facilities, including parking lots, parks or recreational facilities.
The Phillips building, a former T-shirt factory owned by the family of G. Byron Phillips, sits on 4.2 acres of land with an assessed value of $111,000, according to county records. The grant stipulates local governments have “control of the property” to be demolished either through ownership or a contractual agreement. Holtsclaw said during the meeting the county has an agreement with the family with regard the grant.
The concrete pad sits on 14 acres of land valued at $241,300. The Henredon site is owned by the Mitchell County Development Foundation.
The reason for the special-called meeting Thursday is the grant’s application deadline is Nov. 1 – recipients will be announced Dec. 15. Commissioners Holtsclaw, Jacob Willis and Chairman Vern Grindstaff were the at the meeting while Ken Hollifield and Danny Burleson were absent.
The county developed the grant applications with the assistance of the High Country Council of Governments.