The members of the Anson Economic Development Corporation received some encouraging news regarding the local economy during the organization’s monthly meeting Thursday morning.
During his report on county government to the AEDC, County Manager Lawrence Gatewood reported that the Belk Building renovations should be completed by the first week in March, and that he and the contractors have been able to get the cost of a new emergency services center down to $3.6 million. The proposed emergency services center will go before the county commissioners in January, Gatewood said, and if approved, ground will be broken in February.
The facility will be financed by the county, he explained, and added that the building will be about 24,000 square feet. “That may seem very large,” Gatewood said, “but keep in mind, we’re building it to last a long time and to meet our needs for a long time to come.”
In addition, Gatewood reported that one of the doctor’s offices at the current Anson Community Hospital may be able to be converted into new offices for the Board of Elections, which would make the board more accessible than its current location in the basement of the Anson County Government Center.
AEDC chairman Chuck Horne also shared some good news on the textile industry front. He said he’s received word lately of three textile companies locating in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, which he said he believes is a good indication that the textile business could conceivably return to Anson County.
“A lot of the cutting and sewing is still being done in Mexico and Central America,” Horne admitted, “but it may eventually bring some business back to Anson County.”
In other business, Don Altieri suggested that the board use its January meeting as a chance to set two or three major goals for 2013. “We should be a little more proactive in terms of what’s coming,” he said.
Dale Nelson also pointed out that the county has two new representatives in the General Assembly, and should work to make them both aware of AEDC and its economic development efforts in Anson. The group agreed to plan a luncheon in the first quarter of 2013 and invite Senator-Elect Mark Brody and Representative-Elect Gene McLaurin.
The AEDC will next meet on Jan. 17 at 7:30 a.m. in the Anson County Chamber of Commerce, 107-A E. Wade St., Wadesboro.