LUMBERTON — The Robeson County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved an agreement with several property owners along N.C. 72 that allows their land to be part of a proposed state-certified industrial development site and sold for industrial use.
The agreement also outlines how the county, Committee of 100, Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation, Duke Power, and the landowners will foot the bill for costs incurred in having the site certified.
“This is part of the process of getting a site certified for industrial development,” County Attorney Patrick Pait told The Robesonian. “A certified site is used to help recruit industry.”
Currently, efforts are ongoing to get the large tract along N.C. 72 certified by the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. The county has six similar certified sites.
Pait said six property owners with a total of about 286 acres have entered into the agreements. The properties to be certified are located near the former Converse plant.
To be recognized as a state certified industrial development site, the site must have water, sewer and natural gas. Greg Cummings, Robeson County’s economic developer and industrial recruiter, said earlier this year that the N.C.. 72 site will also provide rail access.
“Businesses and industries like these certified sites because they want to start construction right away,” Cummings told the commissioners during their April retreat in Raleigh. “They don’t want to have to wait.”
The commissioners took no action concerning an appointment to the Department of Socials Services board that has divided the board.
Twice the board has deadlocked 4-4 in a vote to reappoint Commissioner Raymond Cummings, who has sat on the board for about two decades, much of that time as its chairman. Each time Cummings voted to reappoint himself.
Pait has said Cummings will sit on the board until the commissioners either replace him or reappoint him to another three-year term. Recently the DSS board, in a 3-2 vote, elected Cummings to a one-year term as chairman. Cummings also voted in favor of himself on that vote.
In other business, the commissioners on Thursday:
— Recognized the Dixie Youth team from West Robeson for recently winning the state championship. The team, whose members are 12-years-old and younger, are leaving on Aug. 4 to take part in the World Series being held in Laurel, Mississippi, beginning Aug. 6.
— Passed a resolution honoring former U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre for his “accomplishments and contributions to Robeson County, State of North Carolina and to the United States of America.”
McIntyre, a lawyer and former resident of Lumberton, represented North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District from Jan. 3, 1997, until he retired on Jan. 3, 2015.
— Appointed Jason King, the county’s assistant manager, to the Southeastern Community and Family Services board of directors. King was appointed to the board in 2013 to fill the unexpired term of another board member who had left his seat.
The Robeson County Board of Commissioners on Thursday recognized the Dixie Youth team from West Robeson that recently won the state championship and will be heading to Laurel, Miss., next week to participate in the World Series.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.