Lee commissioners to consider making economic development loan

May. 05, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

While maintaining funding for the Lee County Economic Development Corporation in the coming year, the Lee County Board of Commissioners will also be asked to make a $150,000 loan to jumpstart the planning and fundraising phase for a much-discussed all-inclusive business recruiting and advocating organization Monday.

The Lee County Commissioners will consider a memorandum of understanding crafted by the Economic Development Task Force, which consists of government, community and business leaders, during the commissioners’s 4:30 p.m. meeting at the Lee County Government Center, located at 116 Hillcrest Drive.

An annual, five-year repayment schedule is recommended in the memorandum of understanding and the loan agreement will include a clause that allows for the county to forgive the loan. The bulk of the funds will be used as a fundraising campaign to raise private dollars for the new organization.

The memorandum also outlines the planning and organization of a single entity — consisting of public-private partnerships including the Lee County Economic Development Corporation and Sanford Area of Commerce — to attract new business and grow existing industries.

According to the memorandum, the economic development organization would include strategies for:


* Existing business retention and expansion

* Small business development and entrepreneurship

* Recruitment of new business

* Marketing and promotion

* Agribusiness

* Infrastructure development

* Downtown development

The Lee County Commissioners, Sanford City Council, Broadway Commissioners, Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce and LCEDC are all requested to approve the memorandum. The recommendation by the county staff, according to the agenda, is to approve the MOU.

  Other items on the agenda include:

* Sandhills Center CEO Victoria Whitt to discuss county funding in the upcoming budget cycle for the center, which provides mental health services to the area.

* Sanford Housing Authority Executive Director Ken Armstrong to discuss the authority purchasing the Wilrik Hotel, located at 152 S. Steele St., for renovations.

* Lee County Sheriff Lt. David Prevatte to discuss accepting two grants from the N.C. Governors Crime Commission, discuss submitting grant applications for school resource officers and consider the lowest bidder to install a mobile storage shelving system in a new evidence room.

* Tim Sherman, who conducted the county’s space need plan in 2007, to update the space needs of the county in the coming decade. The cost for the updated study is $30,000 and $7,500 to review the Lee County Board of Education and Central Carolina Community College’s space needs, according to the agenda.

* A closed session to discuss the negotiation and price for property, located at 130 Wicker St., for the purpose of relocating the Sanford-Lee County Community Development, Planning, Zoning, Code Enforcement and Environmental Health departments in one location.