Archive for the ‘News section’ Category

12-5-2022 – Report shows county’s economic growth continued

Posted on: December 5th, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

December 5 2022

–PARTEND–

By CADY DAVIS CDAVIS@NEWSTOPICNEWS.COM

Dec 2, 2022 Updated Dec 2, 2022

 

CALDWELL COUNTY — A new report shows that Caldwell County continues to improve its financial situation as it moves out of a Tier 1 designation (most economically distressed) to Tier 2.

 

The North Carolina Department of Commerce released the county tier designations for 2023 on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The designations, which are mandated by state law, play a role in several programs that assist in economic development.

 

“The EDC has worked persistently and diligently over the last decade to diversify and grow our local economy,” said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. “Good work and hard work produces long term and sustaining growth. We have seen this in the numbers produced over these last few years. Both the recent announcements for Tier designation and average private sector wages evidence this.”

 

The 2023 rankings comply with the methodology prescribed by the North Carolina General Assembly in General Statue §143B-437.08, which identifies four economic factors to be compiled and calculated by N.C. Commerce and then used to analyze and rank each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Each county is then assigned its tier designation ranking from one to three. Tier 1 counties are generally the most economically distressed and Tier 3 counties are generally the least economically distressed.

 

“Tier 1 counties, because they are the most economically distressed, receive the maximum dollars available for state incentives. Tier 2 counties may occasionally receive less but this in no way will affect any current grants or incentives we have,” Murray said. “We have moved to Tier 2 but will continue to be able to apply for state incentives when they are appropriate.”

 

Tier rankings are based on four measurements: adjusted property tax base per capita for the most recent fiscal year (FY 2021-2022); percentage growth in population for the most recent 36 months (July 2017 through July 2020); median household income for the most recent 12 months for which data is available (2019 U.S. Census Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates); and average unemployment rate for the most recent 12 months (October 2020 to September 2021).

 

State law calls for 40 counties to be designated as Tier 1, 40 counties to be designated as Tier 2, and 20 counties to be designated Tier 3.

 

For 2023, the North Carolina Department of Commerce reported that Caldwell County is shifting from Tier 1 to Tier 2. The county’s economic distress rank is #42 (compared to #37 in 2022).

 

According to Murray, unemployment has been key to Caldwell’s comeback since the Great Recession and the pandemic. Caldwell posted an annual 3.6% unemployment rate, which moved the ranking from #38 last year to #54 this year.

 

Murray also said that Caldwell County continued to show anticipated gains in three categories. The county ranked 45 out of 100 counties with a $101,659 adjusted property tax base per capita and a very strong 16.15% year over year growth. Over the last eight years, Caldwell has seen 43% growth.

 

Population growth has been slow to take hold in Caldwell County, but the county managed to document 0.24% growth year over year, ranking #41 in this category.

 

Median household income is a significant reason for Caldwell’s growth, showing a 15.94% year over year growth. Since 2014, Caldwell residents have seen a 44% growth in median household income.

 

Additionally, the 2023 North Carolina Private Sector Average Wage Report was recently released. Produced by the N.C. Department of Commerce, Labor and Economic Analysis Division, the report ranks all 100 of North Carolina’s counties by annualized average wages using the most recent four quarters (Q3 2021 through Q2 2022). The report is based on what county employers pay without regard for where employees may live.

 

Caldwell County employers posted record wages again in the 2023 Report. The new average wage for Caldwell County is $48,482. This represents a one year increase of 10.4%. In comparison, Catawba posted a new average wage of $52,172, an 8.6% year over year increase. Burke County posted a new average wage of $43,261, a 9.52% annual increase.

 

Since 2015, Caldwell has increased its average wage by $16,473 per wage earner, totaling 51.5% wage growth over eight years. During the same period of time, Catawba has increased its average wage by $15,426 and Burke has increased its average wage by $10,328.

 

Caldwell moved from 28th highest to 20th highest average private sector wage in this year’s rankings. The state’s highest average wages were in Durham County with $86,686, followed by Mecklenburg with $80,349, and Wake with $72,743. Other counties in the top 20 were Iredell with $64,433, Catawba with $52,172, Buncombe with $51,080, and Lincoln with $49,332.

 

Other counties moving to a less distressed tier ranking include Avery (Tier 3), Cleveland (Tier 2), Pasquotank (Tier 2), and Swain (Tier 2). Counties moving to a more distressed tier ranking include Onslow (Tier 1), Pitt (Tier 1), Randolph (Tier 1), Surry (Tier 1), and Transylvania (Tier 2).

 

Tier designations determine eligibility and guidelines for several different grant programs that N.C. Commerce administers including the One North Carolina Fund, building reuse, and water and sewer infrastructure grants among others. Tier designations also play a role in the state’s performance-based Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, serving as a mechanism to channel funds for infrastructure improvements into more economically distressed areas of the state.

 

“We most frequently use building reuse grants which do take tier rankings into consideration,” said Murray. “In this case, the average wage is more significant. Reuse grants are very competitive and are awarded based on companies who pledge wages at or above the county’s average wage for the year. As our wages increase, it does become more challenging for companies to pledge significant numbers of jobs at these wages. At the same time, the types of companies we have recruited and expanded have consistently raised our wages which benefits us all. At the end of the day, significant and improved opportunity and quality of life in Caldwell result.”

 

For more information about the tier designation system, visit nccommerce.com/grants-incentives/county-distress-rankings-tiers.

12-2-2022 – Golden LEAF awards $50K to Evergreene Industrial Park

Posted on: December 2nd, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

December 2 2022

–PARTEND–

 

By NEWS-TOPIC STAFF

Dec 1, 2022

 

ROCKY MOUNT — Caldwell was one of nine counties to benefit from a Golden LEAF Foundation award Thursday, Dec. 1.

 

The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded $5.8 million in funding for 10 projects through the Golden LEAF SITE Program in Caldwell, Duplin, Forsyth, Nash, Randolph, Rockingham, Sampson, Stanly, and Warren counties.

 

SITE Program — Identification provides assistance to a community from a firm contracted by Golden LEAF to help identify potential industrial sites in the community. Warren County was selected to receive assistance through this phase.

 

In the SITE Program — Due Diligence phase, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $25,500 in funding to the Greater Winston-Salem Development Corp. for the Tanglewood Business Park and $50,000 in funding to Caldwell County for the Evergreene Industrial Park. These projects will use funding to complete eligible due diligence activities such as environmental assessments, archaeological analyses, and mapping.

 

For the SITE Program — Development, the Golden LEAF Board awarded $5,775,802 in funding for seven projects that will provide public infrastructure and, for publicly owned sites, clearing and rough grading, to benefit sites that have completed the due diligence necessary to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development.

 

Additionally, the Golden LEAF Board awarded two projects totaling $700,000 in Open Grants Program funding. These projects will support agriculture and workforce preparedness in Ashe and Catawba counties.

 

  • $500,000 to Ashe County to support construction costs for a multi-purpose agricultural center that will provide a space for area cattle farmers to aggregate and market their livestock locally in a manner that would attract large buyers and increase opportunities to gain premium pricing.
  • $200,000 to Catawba Valley Community College for two years of start-up funding to partially fund four of seven new positions for the Manufacturing Solutions Center II an economic development and job creation initiative focused on best practices in fabric development, new textile personal protective equipment, and expanded testing and prototyping.

12-1-2022 – 2023 NC Private Sector Average Wage Report

Posted on: December 1st, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

December 1 2022

–PARTEND–

 

Caldwell County continues record wage growth

 

The 2023 North Carolina Private Sector Average Wage Report was released earlier today.  Produced by the NC Department of Commerce, Labor and Economic Analysis Division, the report ranks all 100 of North Carolina’s counties by annualized average wages  using the most recent four quarters (Q3 2021 through Q2 2022).  The report is based on what county employers pay without regard for where employees may live.

 

Caldwell County employers posted record wages again in the 2023 Report. The new average wage for Caldwell County is $48,482.  This represents a one year increase of 10.4%.  In comparison, Catawba posted a new average wage of $52,172, an 8.6% year over year increase.  Burke County posted a new average wage of $43,261, a 9.52% annual increase.

 

Since 2015 Caldwell has increased its average wage by $16,473 per wage earner, totaling 51.5% wage growth over eight years.  During the same period of time, Catawba has increased its average wage by $15,426 and Burke has increased its average wage by $10,328.

 

Caldwell moved from 28th highest to 20th highest average private sector wage in this year’s rankings.  The state’s highest average wages were in Durham County with $86,686,  followed by Mecklenberg with $80,349, and Wake with $72,743.  Other counties in the top twenty were Iredell with $64,433, Catawba with $52,172, Buncombe with $51,080, and Lincoln with $49,332

 

 

 

The 2023 NC Average Private Sector Wage Report can be found at:

http://www.caldwelledc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/County-Average-Wages-2023_asPublished_120122.pdf

 

12-1-2022 – Caldwell County moves from Tier 1 to Tier 2

Posted on: December 1st, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

December 1 2022

–PARTEND–

 

Deborah Murray

Executive Director Caldwell County EDC

 

The 2023 North Carolina Tier Designations were released Wednesday by the NC Department of Commerce.  Ten of North Carolina’s 100 counties changed rankings.  Caldwell County moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2.  Caldwell County’s overall ranking was 42.

 

Caldwell County continued to show anticipated gains in three categories.  The county ranked 45 out of 100 counties with a $101,659 Adjusted Property Tax Base Per Capita. Caldwell showed a very strong 16.15 % year over year growth.  The county showed 43% growth over the last eight years (since 2014).

 

Population growth has been slow to take hold in Caldwell County, but the county managed to document 0.24 % growth year over year.  The county ranked 41st in this category.

 

Median Household income is a significant reason for Caldwell’s growth showing a 15.94% year over year growth.  Since 2014 Caldwell residents have seen a 44% growth in median household income.

 

Unemployment has been key to Caldwell’s comeback since the Great Recession and the pandemic.  Caldwell posted an annual 3.6% unemployment rate ranking 54 in the Tier rankings for 2023.

 

Designations are based on four rankings for each county with the total score classifying each county as a Tier 1 (the forty most economically distressed counties), Tier 2 (the next 40 less economically distressed counties or Tier 3 (the state’s 20 least economically distressed counties).

 

Tier Rankings are based on four measurements:  Adjusted Property Tax Base per Capita for the most recent fiscal year (FY 2021-2022); Percentage Growth in Population for the most recent 36 months (July 2017 through July 2020); Median Household Income for the most recent twelve months for which data is available (2019 US Census Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates); and Average Unemployment rate for the most recent twelve months (October 2020 to September 2021).

 

 

 

 

11-23-2022 – County brings EDC operations in-house

Posted on: November 23rd, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

November 23 2022

–PARTEND–

 

  • By NEWS-TOPIC STAFF
  • Nov 22, 2022

LENOIR — A restructuring has led to the Economic Development Commission to become a function under Caldwell County’s government, instead of a contracted service.

 

“The board has a vision to continue advancing economic development efforts and the most efficient and effective way to do that is to build a new county department focused on workforce development,” County Manager Donald Duncan said.

 

Part of the reorganization includes new leadership with Ashley Bolick named as the director of the EDC.

 

“We are pleased to have Ashley join our team as we bring the EDC back in house,” Duncan said. “She is a natural leader who will work diligently to recruit new industries and bring more jobs to our area.”

 

In her new role, Bolick will help the EDC transition from a contracted service to a county-operated department.

 

“I am excited to bring my passion for service and to continue to build upon the successes of the Commissioners, EDC Board, and staff,” Bolick said. “Together we can generate advanced economic growth and development in our great county.”

 

Bolick replaces Deborah Murray, who has been executive director of the EDC. Murray will continue to serve until Dec. 31.

 

A lifelong resident and strong advocate for Caldwell County, Bolick brings nearly 20 years of Human Resources and Management experience to her new role. For the last 7½ years, she has served the Western Piedmont Council on Governments as director of Administration and Human Resources. In this role, Bolick’s duties have included managing a $2.8 million annual budget, pay plan studies, and executive searches for local governments.

 

“During my time at the WPCOG, I have learned so much through my interactions with the region’s public officials and public policy influencers, and I plan to use those experiences to build cooperation to help Caldwell County thrive,” Bolick said.

 

Bolick will take her oath of office on Monday, Dec. 5, at 5:45 p.m. in the City/County Chambers. A reception welcoming Bolick will begin at 5:15 p.m.

11-22-2022 – Bolick Named Caldwell County EDC Director

Posted on: November 22nd, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

November 22 2022

–PARTEND–

 

 

Caldwell County Manager Donald Duncan recently named Ashley Bolick as director of the county’s reorganized Economic Development Commission.

 

“We are pleased to have Ashley join our team as we bring the EDC back in house. She is a natural leader who will work diligently to recruit new industries and bring more jobs to our area,” said Caldwell County Manager Donald Duncan.

 

In her new role, Bolick will help the EDC transition from a contracted service to a county-operated department.

 

“I am excited to bring my passion for service and to continue to build upon the successes of the Commissioners, EDC Board, and staff,” said Bolick. “Together we can generate advanced economic growth and development in our great county.”

 

A lifelong resident and strong advocate for Caldwell County, Bolick brings nearly 20 years of Human Resources and Management experience to her new role. For the last 7½ years, she has served the Western Piedmont Council on Governments as Director of Administration and Human Resources. In this role, Bolick’s duties have included managing a $2.8 million annual budget, pay plan studies, and executive searches for local governments.

 

“During my time at the WPCOG, I have learned so much through my interactions with the region’s public officials and public policy influencers, and I plan to use those experiences to build cooperation to help Caldwell County thrive,” said Bolick.

 

Bolick will take her oath of office on Monday, December 5, at 5:45 p.m. in the City/County Chambers. A reception welcoming Bolick will begin at 5:15 p.m.

 

 

 

 

11-22-2022 – Duke Street Cottages (Granite Falls) ribbon cutting

Posted on: November 22nd, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

November 22 2022

–PARTEND–

 

Welcome to Duke Street Cottages “pocket-neighborhood” development by Rob Howard in Granite Falls, NC. Eleven Net-Zero Ready homes in 1.5 acres! Ribbon Cutting on Nov. 18th, 2022.

11-17-2022 – CCS’ Phipps named 2023 Superintendent of the Year

Posted on: November 17th, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

November 17 2022

–PARTEND–

 

By NEWS-TOPIC STAFF

Nov 16, 2022

 

GREENSBORO — Dr. Don Phipps, superintendent of Caldwell County Schools, was named the 2023 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year at an awards presentation and reception held Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Greensboro.

 

The award is jointly presented annually by the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association (NCSSA), and the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA). Scholastic Education Solutions, who sponsored the event, also provided $5,000 in recognition of Phipps’ monumental achievement.

 

Phipps joined Caldwell County Schools as superintendent in 2018 and since that time has been a driving force in creating positive change in his district, particularly in the areas of budget management, student wellness, and community involvement.

 

“It’s overwhelming and a real honor for me to represent the superintendents in North Carolina with the work that they do and to call them all my peers,” said Phipps. “Gratitude is not a strong enough word. I look forward to serving them and representing them.”

 

Jack Hoke, executive director of the North Carolina School Superintendents’ Association, praised Phipps for the leadership that has earned him the top honor for local superintendents in the state.

 

“Dr. Don Phipps is a leader among leaders,” Hoke said. “His focus on addressing the critical needs of students and families in his community and his efforts to be a strong voice for his colleagues in state and federal education policy work all make him an exemplary district leader who is very worthy of the Superintendent of the Year honor.”

 

Since becoming superintendent of Caldwell County Schools, Phipps has made it his mission to establish robust resources to support student safety and well-being and to foster positive relationships between the school district and families.

 

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Phipps directed CCCS to deploy school buses, equipped with Wi-Fi, to help students and families with limited internet access. When students began returning to school, Phipps and his team continued their focus on student support and launched a partnership with three community mental health providers to offer school-based mental health services for the 2022-23 school year.

 

“This work is critical, in my opinion,” said Phipps. “This work has significantly and positively impacted the gap that existed where our students’ mental health needs were identified and not being met.”

 

Phipps also has worked with ministers in his community to create a Ministerial Alliance, a program which has helped to spread valuable information about critical issues such as free school lunch. In addition, CCS engages the local community by offering needs-based services like college application and scholarship nights, Bootcamps for Grandparents seeking computer skills, and even an AgExpo focused on agricultural-related careers targeted at students.

 

“We must respond to needs in our community, but we only know what those needs are if we are part of the community,” said Phipps. “We must be seen as trustworthy and genuine in our work.”

 

As the 2023 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year, Phipps will compete at the national level for Superintendent of the Year at the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education, in San Antonio, TX, Feb. 16-18, 2023.

 

The 2023 North Carolina Regional Superintendents of the Year, all of whom were nominees for this prestigious state award, were also recognized as such at the Nov. 15 ceremony:

 

  • Region 1 | Northeast | Dr. Ethan Lenker, Pitt County Schools
  • Region 2 | Southeast | Dr. Jerry L. Oates, Brunswick County Schools
  • Region 3 | Central | Ms. Catty Q. Moore, Wake County Schools
  • Region 4 | Sandhills | Dr. Aaron Fleming, Harnett County Schools
  • Region 5 | Piedmont/Triad | Dr. Todd Martin, Yadkin County Schools
  • Region 6 | Southwest | Dr. Jeff Booker, Gaston County Schools
  • Region 7 | Northwest | Dr. Don Phipps, Caldwell County Schools
  • Region 8 | Western | Ms. Angela Knight, Graham County Schools

11-1-2022 – Frye Regional HealthPark opens in Lenoir

Posted on: November 1st, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

November 1 2022

–PARTEND–

 

By NEWS-TOPIC STAFF

Oct 31, 2022

 

HICKORY — Frye Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint hospital, is bringing a wide range of health care services to Caldwell County. The Frye Regional HealthPark, located at 1041 Morganton Blvd. SW in Lenoir, will open its doors today (Tuesday, Nov. 1) with cardiology and family medicine practices. It will continue to grow with needed services for the community over the coming months as new providers and services move into the 25,000-square-foot, multi-specialty outpatient facility.

 

“I am excited to relocate my office from nearby Hudson to a modern, spacious suite at the Frye Regional HealthPark,” said Amada Du Sablon, DO, a board-certified family medicine physician at the new FryeCare Family Medicine — Lenoir. “We will continue to offer personalized care for our existing and new patients of all ages and in all stages of life — from children and teens through adults and seniors. My focus is to build strong, lasting relationships through open communication and a commitment to Frye Regional’s mission of Making Communities Healthier.

 

“Caldwell County is a great place to live, work, go to school and play — and Frye Regional Medical Center and the FryeCare Physicians Network are pleased to expand our offerings here to better serve this community,” Du Sablon added.

Jesse Gullett, DNP, FNP, a family nurse practitioner, is also joining Dr. Du Sablon and their staff at FryeCare Family Medicine — Lenoir. To schedule an appointment with a provider, call 828-323-2460.

 

FryeCare Cardiology — Lenoir (formerly Piedmont Cardiology Associates), which has been serving patients in Lenoir for more than 20 years, is also relocating to the Frye Regional HealthPark, effective Tuesday, Nov. 1. The new clinic will include a range of resources and services for heart and vascular conditions, including testing, monitoring and therapies. The providers also offer guidance to help patients learn how to prevent and manage heart disease through healthy lifestyle choices.

 

The following board-certified cardiologists will see new and existing patients at the multi-specialty outpatient facility in Lenoir as well their offices in Hickory, Connelly Springs and Lincolnton: Ghassan Alkoutami, MD; Srinivas Mikkilineni, MD; John Morrison, MD; Phillip Paspa, MD; Vincent Patrone, MD; and Pairoj Rerkpattanapipat, MD.

 

The heart specialists perform cardiac catheterization and other interventional procedures exclusively at the Frye Regional Heart Center, the first Duke Health heart affiliate in Western North Carolina. To schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at the Frye Regional HealthPark, call 828-754-1919.

 

FryeCare Pain Management will open in the Frye Regional HealthPark on November 7. Sarah Buff, FNP, a nurse practitioner formerly with the Unifor Pain Treatment Center in Hickory, specializes in pain management for low back pain, neck pain, cancer pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathies, and pain from peripheral vascular disease. To schedule an appointment, call 828-304-2529.

 

In 2023, additional providers from the FryeCare Physicians Network, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pulmonologists, vascular surgeons and women’s health specialists, will be scheduling appointments at the convenient new location in Lenoir. Plans are also in development for an outpatient imaging center with the latest technology as well as outpatient physical therapy services.

 

“We are pleased to expand services for patients and families in the Lenoir area,” said Chris Brown, RN, interim CEO of Frye Regional Medical Center. “This location offers convenience and accessibility of services for patients. We are excited about what the future will bring and are committed to providing quality care in this area, backed by the services of Frye Regional Medical Center.”

 

The architect for the multi-specialty outpatient facility is HMK Architects + Planners, Inc., using largely local subcontractors. The Frye Regional HealthPark represents a nearly $2 million investment in Caldwell County by Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

 

To learn more, visit https://www.fryemedctr.com/frye-regional-healthpark.

 

Meet the providers: Join the providers and staff of FryeCare Cardiology, FryeCare Family Medicine and FryeCare Pain Management for a Caldwell Chamber of Commerce Ribbon-Cutting Celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. at the Frye Regional HealthPark in Lenoir. Tours will be offered immediately after the ceremony and remarks until 4 p.m.

10-20-2022 – City eyes new Downtown Master Plan

Posted on: October 31st, 2022 by admin No Comments

PARTEND–

October 20 2022

–PARTEND–

 

By NEWS-TOPIC STAFF

Oct 20, 2022

 

LENOIR — City staff will soon start developing a new Master Plan for downtown Lenoir. The Downtown Master Plan will establish a cohesive vision for downtown Lenoir and guide future development in the heart of the city.

 

“We are genuinely excited to be embarking on this project,” said Main Street Director Kaylynn Horn. “Many surrounding cities and many more across the state have completed one, two, and in some cases, three Downtown Master Plans. Creating our own Downtown Master Plan will help us build upon the momentum and redevelopment currently happening in downtown Lenoir.”

 

The Downtown Master Plan will be a document that establishes goals for redevelopment and improvements in downtown Lenoir during the next 10 years. The Plan will also include recommendations for improvements to The Campus at the Historic Lenoir High School (LHS). The Campus includes the LHS auditorium, gymnasium, band building, trades/masonry building, and Mack Cook Stadium. The Plan will likely recommend changes and additions to public infrastructure in downtown such as sidewalks, common areas, lighting, and street patterns.

 

“It will be a guide and vision of where the community would like to see downtown Lenoir in the next 10 years,” Horn said. “It should be a fluid, working document that can be adjusted and updated as we implement the plan.”

 

The city has selected DLR Group to create the Plan. DLR Group is a nationally-renowned design firm with more than 40 designers, architects, and planners based in Charlotte. DLR Group has been a member and a leader in the League of Historic American Theatres for 20-plus years; the firm has a heart for historic preservation and community growth through the arts. The group is currently working on performing arts and planning projects in Morganton, Salisbury, Charlotte, and Durham. Their team includes McGill Associates, who have successfully completed many projects — both plans and implementation — for the city of Lenoir.

 

Creating the Downtown Master Plan could take up to a year. DLR Group will organize many visioning sessions with a diverse cross-section of community and business leaders, elected officials, and staff members to get input for the plan. The group will conduct interviews, hold community workshops, and review existing public infrastructure, downtown properties, and businesses. They will review all of the city’s current plans that are connected to downtown Lenoir such as the city’s Bicycle Plan and Pedestrian Plan, and they will conduct many public engagement surveys and meetings to get input from Lenoir’s residents. DLR Group will also evaluate current land use and development regulations in downtown and existing public spaces and amenities.

 

In its proposal, DLR Group said, “One of the important goals of the Downtown Master Plan is to integrate various ongoing, planned, and future projects within the downtown area to prepare a comprehensive, action-oriented but realistic and implementable 10-year plan.”

 

Horn agreed. “It’s important that it’s feasible and doable,” she said. “We’re going to create a plan that we can implement and make progress on during the next decade.”

 

To ensure that the plan represents the interests of the city, residents, business and property owners, and local leaders, city staff will assemble an advisory committee. The Advisory Committee will include elected officials, city board members and staff, property and business owners, and the general public. The Advisory Committee will meet regularly with DLR Group to review and help guide the planning process.

 

Once complete, the Downtown Master Plan will lay out a vision for downtown Lenoir. The Plan will focus on creating and enhancing connections between existing public spaces, downtown, and The Campus.

 

“It will serve as a tool to help guide all downtown stakeholders towards the realization of the community’s goals and vision for their downtown,” said Horn. “We are really looking forward to working with community members to gain their input and aspirations for the vision of downtown Lenoir.”

 

City council voted to approve the contract with DLR Group to create the plan during the regular Council meeting held Tuesday, Oct. 18.

 

Councilman Ralph Prestwood has been involved in downtown Lenoir since the early 1980s. He has owned and renovated five different buildings in downtown, and he was part of the group that brought that Main Street program to the city in 1984. Prestwood also helped start the LHS Foundation, which raised $300,000 to renovate the LHS Auditorium in the late 1980s.

 

Prestwood said the plan will be a great tool for the city to keep moving forward and making improvements in Lenoir.

 

 

“We have made a great deal of progress over the last several years in all these areas — downtown, the LHS Campus, Greenways, and Pedestrian/Bike Plans,” Prestwood said. “This master plan will take our work to the next level, where we can plan the interaction of these unique assets to serve the citizens of Lenoir and the broader community.”

©2011-2014 Economic Development Commission of Caldwell County • Site Mapinfo@caldwelledc.orgWebsite by Market Force