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Two communities selected for site readiness

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CHOCOWINITY, N.C. - Chocowinity and Havelock are two locations chosen for the Duke Energy site readiness program.

Through the program, areas get exposed to national companies looking to expand.

"This program was put in place specifically to get sites ready for development," said John Nelms, with Duke Energy.

Since 2006, Duke Energy has evaluated 114 sites in the Carolinas, with 12 of those sites being chosen for projects.

"There's never anything guaranteed with economic development projects," said Randell Woodruff, County Manager for Beaufort County.

Before sites can be chosen for a project, an in depth study must be completed, including soil studies, evaluating whether there are archeological remains, and looking for endangered species living on the land.

But, initial feedback at the Chocowinity site makes the area optimistic.

"This site has everything that you're looking for. It's got excellent infrastructure from all utilities," said Nelms. "You've got rail at the site, you've got excellent highway access."

The 12 sites chosen for projects so far have created 2,100 jobs and $2.9 billion in capital investments.

Beaufort County leaders say bringing development to this site would help revitalize the area.

"We really need to grow our tax base and create new jobs for people who live in Eastern North Carolina," said Woodruff. "So, whatever we can do and accomplish here, we'll be very excited about it."
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