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Louisburg gets three grants to help with future development
The drawing above depicts how the finished park might turn out with buildings and access roads.

LOUISBURG -- The town of Louisburg literally raked in the grants during its meeting Monday night, ending the evening with an additional $2.7 million in available funds.

The largest grant was quickly accepted, a $2.4 million grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce that will be used to create an industrial park along T. Kemp Road.

Last month, the council voted to purchase an additional 80 acres along T. Kemp Road, stretching the park along the roadway all the way from West River Road to the Cemetery on the Hill.

The grant comes with a required 25 percent match, meaning that the town will have to ante up about $830,000 to make the project work.

The first step of the project is purchasing additional land from three local men, Bill Bartholomew (50 percent) and Ben and Johnny Williamson, (25 percent each.)

The land has a tax value of $760,000 and the town agreed to purchase it for $510,500 on a unanimous vote.

Once the land deal closes and is combined with land the town already owns, the town is planning to add access roads as well as full infrastructure, including water, sewer and electricity, to the site.

The goal, town officials said, is to create a park that is "shovel ready" for mid-size companies.

After the council quickly and unanimously accepted the grant, Town Administrator Jonathan Franklin pledged to "get right to work" on the project.

Later in the meeting, the council approved a concept plan for the park, although many details are yet to be worked out.

With that grant in hand, the council also unanimously accepted two additional grants from the state. The first, for $150,000, will be used for a study of the town's water system with an eye toward both maintenance and making sure it is prepared to handle projected growth.

Then, another $150,000 grant was unanimously accepted and will be used to assess the town's wastewater treatment system, including running television cameras through all the main lines in town to determine their condition and whether they are in need of repair.


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