The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has suddenly called a work session for Thursday, Dec. 2 – a move that should please all those in favor of greater economic development in Guilford County and the surrounding area.
The work session will be closed to the public as the nine commissioners discuss potential economic incentives for an unnamed project or projects.
Though county officials aren’t stating the reason for the work session, anyone who’s been paying attention to the news lately knows one possible subject of the meeting is the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite that’s always been a bridesmaid, never a bride.
Another possible project is one indicated by a budget appropriations bill that the NC General Assembly passed on Monday, Nov. 29. That bill includes nearly $107 million in incentives for an unnamed project pertaining to aircraft manufacturing at Piedmont Triad International Airport, which is developing a 1,000-acre megasite for aviation companies that need runway access.
But the Greensboro- Randolph County Megasite has been the main topic of economic development in this area recently. The Randolph County Board of Commissioners have scheduled a public hearing to consider economic incentives and a transfer of land for the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite for Monday, Dec. 6. Randolph County’s public notice, unlike Guilford County’s closed session notice – did mention some details of that project. For instance, it stated that “the Company must create at least one-thousand seven hundred and fifty (1,750) new full time jobs and invest at least one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000.00) in real and personal property at the Facility located with the County.”
When major projects come to the area, the project is often awarded incentives from multiple governments including the state, counties and cities.
The Greensboro City Council has also scheduled a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 6 to hold a public hearing on an unnamed economic development project.
The Guilford County commissioners work session will be at 5 p.m. Thursday in the county’s Bob Shaw Conference Room on the second floor of the Old Guilford County Court House at 301 W. Market St. in Greensboro. The Board of Commissioners will hold its regular meeting immediately afterward and it’s possible that the board will schedule a public hearing on a county economic incentives offering at that regular meeting.
The official stated purpose of the work session – the minimum amount of information the county must by law reveal – is to “immediately enter into closed session pursuant to N.C.G.S. 143-318.11 (a) (4) for the purpose of considering expansion of an industry into the area or an economic development incentive; and to conduct any other necessary business.”
The closed session seems to have come up quickly. The board hadn’t publicly discussed a work session for this week, and the legally required public notice of the closed meeting – which must come a minimum of 48 hours before the session – met the legal minimum for notice only by a matter of hours.