AEDC hears updates on Carolina Thread Trail, GrowGreen project

Abby Cavenaugh

March 24, 2014

The Anson Economic Development Corporation heard an update on the Carolina Thread Trail from community coordinator Travis Morehead. Morehead explained that the Carolina Thread Trail is a regional greenway and trail system that encompasses 11 counties in North Carolina, including Anson, and three counties in South Carolina.

So far, 1,400 miles of the trail have been planned. AEDC member Dale Nelson sat on the steering committee for the trail, Morehead said, adding that the committee really wrestled with the best way to use the trail in Anson County. “We decided to do blueways,” he said. “Along the Rocky River, Yadkin and the Pee Dee.”

The project started in 2011, after the county commissioners approved it. Since then, Morehead said the Thread Trail has been working with property owners along the rivers to make the trail come to fruition.

“Blueways are a rapidly growing aspect of tourism,” he said. Morehead said he could foresee Anson County being a destination for paddlers from the Charlotte metro area, who want to spend their weekends peacefully paddling and kayaking along rivers in rural areas. The average paddler is about 49 years of age with an annual income of $75,000.

“A destination paddler will spend $88 a day,” Morehead said. “That includes lodging, restaurants, etc. The truth is, it’s not going to be a cure-all, but it could be a tool for growth.” The parking spaces at launch sites in Anson County will probably number about 10-12.

GrowGreen Update

Anson County economic development director and grants administrator Mary Beck gave the group an update on the GrowGreen project, saying that the project will now be known as Anson Energy, LLC and Anson Greenhouse, LLC.

She thanked state legislators Rep. Mark Brody and Sen. Gene McLaurin for their help in procuring grant funding for the project and also addressed rumors about the project. “I have heard rumors that the company shut down or the financing fell through,” Beck said. “We are moving forward this project.”

She added that more details will be forthcoming about the project, but reiterated that the greenhouse company will still be making a home in Anson County.

Other Business

In other business at the monthly March meeting, the AEDC:

  • heard an update from County Manager Lawrence Gatewood on the new animal shelter (see related story, 1A)
  • was thanked by Wadesboro Town Manager Alex Sewell for its help on the town’s new marketing video.
  • got an update on the Chamber’s latest happenings, including the upcoming golf tournament, April 11.
  • received a thank-you from Anson County Schools Superintendent Michael Freeman on their support for the school system.

During a roundtable discussion, Don Altieri shared that a developer is “working his way through the process” to build an RV park in Wadesboro near Little Park.

Thomas Cureton also shared that Farm Fresh Ventures has a new website, and is looking to grow its subscriptions for fresh produce delivery May through September.

AEDC chair Chuck Horne spoke about an article in last week’s Anson Record on recycling. He shared that Hornwood, Inc., is working to become a “landfill-free company.” Chamber executive director Lynn Edwards said that the Chamber started a recycling program last year and she can already tell a difference in how much waste leaves the office. “It takes time and effort,” she said, “but it’s worth it.”

Tammy Whaley with Duke Energy was also in attendance at the meeting, and shared information with the business leaders about grant opportunities that are available.

The next AEDC meeting will be held April 17 at 7:30 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce, 107-A E. Wade St., Wadesboro. Elections will be held at the April meeting.