Craven County receives grant to expand industrial park

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Craven County is investing in its water and sewer systems to create more local jobs. 

The county is getting an infusion of cash to expand the development of its industrial park.

We received an infrastructure grant from the department of commerce, North Carolina, that was matched by the county 117,500 dollars which includes 25,000 from Duke energy,” explains Jeff Wood, the Craven County director of economic development.

Leaders say it’s going down the drain but in a good way, “this project will be a total of 470,000 dollars to put water and sewer throughout the southern part of the Craven County Industrial Park,” says Wood. 

They also say the investment will help existing employers, like BSH Home Appliances, Craven Wood Energy and Minges Bottling Group. 

“We’ve got about six projects that I’m watching, monitoring, and managing right now that would be a total of 8.5 million dollars in private sector investments and about 130 private-sector jobs,” Wood says. 

But it’s not stopping there, this new grant will allow them to extend the infrastructure through the rest of the park. 

This will open up about 60 acres to move forward and create jobs. 

Wood describes the kind of work that will be available, “Manufacturing jobs, engineering jobs, you can hear in the background some of the construction that’s going on right now so some construction jobs.” 

It’s exciting for people at other businesses in the New Bern area. 

“It will definitely help us, we have a lot of military families and we like to support them but we like to be able to provide for them in the best way possible and that is to have a good economy in general. So I think overall it’s going to be a great asset to have this grant,” says Catherine Chittypike, a staff pharmacist at Bynum’s Drug Store. 

Craven County will start releasing requests for proposals for engineering and design in July.

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