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NC rural center agrees to shift grants to state

RALEIGH, N.C. -

A North Carolina rural development organization that saw its state funding eliminated this summer is prepared to shift its $85 million state grant portfolio to a new government agency as the group downsizes and retools.

The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center board has agreed to a transition framework with a new division within the state Commerce Department that will now administer center grants and money for the projects. The center and the state also will share millions of dollars in interest.

Center spokesman Matt Ehlers said Tuesday the deal approved by the board Monday came about after the legislature decided not to fund the center and state budget office later froze its assets. This followed a state audit in July questioning center operations and the pay of its president.

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