Polk approves spending $34k to help run water line to creamery

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017


GREEN CREEK – The Polk County Board of Commissioners approved a project budget ordinance and budget amendment to help fund running a water line to Looking Glass Creamery.

The county applied for a grant in June to run a water line to the creamery, with the grant paying for 75 percent, and Harmon Dairy and the county funding the 25 percent match.

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Commissioners approved the ordinance and budget amendment during its Aug. 7 meeting.

Looking Glass Creamery LLC is expanding its business to Polk County to support its Buncombe County operations.

The county applied for the grant at its June 19 meeting from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Industrial Development Fund Utility Account (IDF).

The total project is for $227,500 with Harmon Dairy contributing 40 percent of the match ($22,750) and Polk County contributing 60 percent of the match ($34,125).

The county’s funding was transferred from the county’s economic development general fund.

During last week’s meeting, commissioner Ray Gasperson said the money from the county is not coming out of the current budget. County manager Marche Pittman agreed that the money was left over from last year and is specifically for economic development.

The county decided to go by its current water line extension policy, where the county pays 60 percent of water line extensions and the property owner pays 40 percent. In this case, the IDF grant paid $170,625 of the total project.

Looking Glass Creamery is constructing a facility on Hwy. 9 on property known as the Harmon Dairy Farm. The business is acquiring the existing dairy farm to better manage its milk supply and is constructing a new creamery building with aging caves to produce cheese and other dairy products. Retail sales will continue at Looking Glass Creamery, located at 57 Noble Road, Fairview. Retail sales at the Polk County location will be added in a later phase.

The expansion to Polk County is expected to create eight new production jobs with further job growth expected with future operations expansions.

The water line will extend from an existing 12-inch water line on Chesnee Road South along N.C. Hwy 9. The project will also include two fire hydrants, valves and fittings, a road under bore, five driveway repairs, engineering design, construction supervision, contingency funds and grant administration.