Public hearing Monday, Feb. 17 for White Oak waterline grant

Published 6:20 pm Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Polk County Board of Commissioners scheduled a public hearing for Monday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. to hear comments regarding applying for a grant to run a waterline into White Oak Development.

Commissioners met Feb. 3 and heard from county engineer Dave Odom who asked for the county to proceed with the application.

The county is applying for a N.C. Department of Commerce grant through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program on behalf of White Oak. The county is also drafting an agreement between the county and the developer so all costs are bore by the developer, not the county.

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The grant is based on job creation. This is the first of two public hearings required for the grant. More information regarding the costs of the project, match requirements and job creation requirements will be released if the county approves moving forward with the grant following Monday’s public hearing.

“The purpose of the hearing is to discuss funds available through the state Community Development Block Grant programs, specifically the Infrastructure and Economic Development categories,” states information provided in Polk County’s Feb. 3 packet. “The infrastructure program is designed to improve the quality of life in a residential targeted area or a local government jurisdiction by using CDBG funds to eliminate severe water and wastewater problems with health and environmental consequences. The economic development program provides funds for local governments with projects that involve a specific for profit business that creates or retains jobs.”

The information goes on to say the project involves the development of an international equestrian facility center that will be home to an annual international equestrian event. The facility will be utilized by other organizations throughout the year, including local organizations.

The grant includes a 25 percent match and White Oak must make a commitment to hire a specified number of jobs with 60 percent being low to moderate incomes.

White Oak is a more than 1,000-acre property located off Pea Ridge Road in the Green Creek Township with plans for a maximum of 800 dwelling units, including single-family residential and clustered multi-family condo/townhouses. The development also plans to include a hotel, a stadium, heliport, winery/vineyard and a 100-unit retirement/independent living and assisted living facility.

Commissioners last year approved a new zoning district for the facility called the Equestrian district and also approved a development agreement with developers.

Polk County already has run a waterline to White Oak for the development to purchase water through the county’s Broad River Water Authority water source, which is administered through the Inman Campobello Water District. The grant, if applied for and approved, would be to run the waterline into the development.