Regional Report Eastern March 2013
Beat a retreat
As the U.S. winds down two wars and tries to trim spending, the Army prepares for budget cuts. It recently released a report detailing the potential economic impact of a 14% reduction in Fort Bragg’s troop strength and civilian workforce by 2020 on Cumberland, Hoke, Harnett and Moore counties. Sales-tax revenue, home values, population and employment would suffer, though strained education and transportation would benefit. The losses could reverse a trend of growth at the base — its workforce increased 32.4% between fiscal 2003 and 2011 — that spurred population increases in the four counties.
Average annual salary of jobs that would be cut
1,357 to 2,584
$21.3 million to $24.7 million
—— Tom Bradshaw, who resigned as executive director of N.C. State Ports Authority in late January after only a year and two days because of the administration change in Raleigh. Some ports board members say that proves the job has become too political.
PANTEGO — Invenergy scrapped its initial plan to build a 49-turbine wind farm here because of concerns it would be a collision risk for jets flying to and from nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro as well as bald eagles. The Chicago-based wind-energy developer is considering altering or moving the project.
HOLDEN BEACH — The N.C. Supreme Court ruled Brunswick County illegally raised the property-tax value of 109 undeveloped parcels owned by Ocean Isle Palms, a division of a local development company. The county assessed their individual values at between $45,000 and $60,000 in 2007 but increased that to between $191,250 and $718,630 the following year, claiming it was correcting an error.
TARBORO — Nash Building Systems will expand its plant, investing $2.2 million and adding 29 to its workforce of 10 within three years. The company makes metal roofing, metal building components and pre-engineered steel buildings. Average annual salary will be $37,286, higher than Edgecombe County’s average of $34,660.
NASH COUNTY — Laurel, Miss.-based Sanderson Farms sent Nash County a $1 million reimbursement for costs associated with its failed attempt to open a poultry-processing plant here (Regional Report, November 2012). It included legal expenses stemming from the county’s court battles with Wilson officials and residents worried about water contamination.
WILMINGTON — Allegiant Air has stopped offering direct flights between Wilmington International Airport and Orlando, Fla., its only route here, because of low demand. The decision leaves two airlines at the airport.
WASHINGTON — Weir SPM will close its local factory by the end of the month, laying off all 56 workers. The Fort Worth, Texas-based maker of pumps for the oil and gas industry did not give a reason for the decision.