Pitt County commissioners debating benefits of NCEast Alliance

Pitt County commissioners debating benefits of NCEast Alliance (Image 1)_12726

Pitt County commissioners are debating whether to spend tens of thousands of state tax dollars to remain a member of the NCEast Alliance.

The county development commission recommended Monday to use the remaining state money credited to the county so it can maintain its membership with the group for the next three years.

“Can I say they have given us jobs? No,” Brenda Jarman, commission chair, said. “But they have certainly worked hard at doing many things, and one of the requirements that we had was for them to bring us leads, and they are doing that.”

But county commissioners chair Glen Webb said he hasn’t seen concrete success from the alliance and questioned whether that money going to the NCEast alliance would be better spent on the county’s own economic development efforts.

“If I can’t tie them to specific jobs, I know who I can tie to specific jobs and that’s our economic development crew,” Webb said.

Lenoir County commissioners chair Craig Hill said the county would have paid somewhere between 20 to 30 thousand dollars if it joined the NCEast alliance after the state dissolved its regional economic alliances.

It chose not to join.

“I can’t see any distinguishable difference between what we were receiving through economic development and being in and being out at this point in time,” Hill said.

He added he would reconsider joining if the alliance has future success.

Pitt County commissioners will decide whether to remain a member when they votes on the county budget June 15.

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