Golden LEAF, Rural Infrastructure Authority announce $35M in grant awards

Golden LEAF, Rural Infrastructure Authority announce $35M in grant awards

Grants will provide needed infrastructure to help attract industry to major NC sites

(ROCKY MOUNT, N.C., December 15, 2016) – Golden LEAF President Dan Gerlach, Secretary of Commerce John E. Skvarla, III, and Rural Infrastructure Authority Chairman Tommy Hester announced today approximately $35 million in grants to provide needed infrastructure to seven large industrial sites across North Carolina. The goal is to increase site competitiveness and reduce the time needed for site development to attract major projects with substantial job creation and private capital investment.

“Our Board recognizes the significant economic impact transformational projects can make on our state,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF President. “This collaborative effort will help move the economic needle and improve North Carolina’s competitive position.”

The Major Site Development Initiative (MSDI) is a joint effort among the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Rural Infrastructure Authority and Duke Energy. The collaborative effort was announced on April 7, 2016.

“These funds are being applied strategically to make sites with the greatest job-generating potential as shovel-ready as possible,” said Commerce Secretary Skvarla. “This additional infrastructure should significantly boost North Carolina’s appeal for big-ticket projects.”

Awards were derived from $25 million in Golden LEAF grants and up to $10 million in Rural Infrastructure Authority grants from the Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. Duke Energy contributed support toward the analysis of readiness of sites to qualify for this initiative.

The Golden LEAF Foundation awarded the following grants under the MSDI:

  • $7 million to the Carolinas Gateway Partnership for the project “Kingsboro Mega-Site Infrastructure (A CSX Select Site)” to support water, sewer and road infrastructure and a groundwater study.
  • $7 million to the City of Greensboro for the project “Greensboro-Randolph MegaSite Sewer Extension” to support sewer infrastructure.
  • $4 million to the City of Sanford for the project “Moncure MegaSite” to support sewer infrastructure.
  • $3 million to the City of Shelby for the project “Farmville Road Water System Improvements Serving Washburn Switch Business Park” to support water infrastructure.
  • $4 million to the Town of Siler City for the project “Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site Water & Wastewater Service” to support water and wastewater infrastructure.

“The aim of the Utility Account is to help less populated counties modernize their industrial product,” said Tommy Hester, Rural Infrastructure Authority Chairman. “These grants help put the finishing touches on big sites with big potential.”

The IDF-Utility Account is funded with a portion of Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) proceeds.

The Rural Infrastructure Authority awarded the following grants under the MSDI:

  • $1,679,700 to Edgecombe County for additional infrastructure at Kingsboro Mega-Site (described above).
  • $1,418,000 to the City of Greensboro for additional infrastructure at the Greensboro-Randolph MegaSite (described above).
  • $3,000,000 to the City of Shelby for additional infrastructure at the Washburn Switch Business Park (described above).
  • $1,782,000 to Franklin County for sewer improvements at Triangle North Franklin.
  • $773,822 to Pitt County for sewer and road improvements at Indigreen Corporate Park.

The funded entities met a standard set of criteria, including public ownership or public control of a site that is at least 150 contiguous acres, appropriate local financial support, recent private-sector interest in developing an industrial project at the site, and a strategy to market the site to identified clients. Submissions included independent evaluations of site readiness and qualification.

About Golden LEAF:
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The Foundation receives a portion of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places special emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The Golden LEAF Foundation works in partnership with governmental entities, educational institutions, economic development organizations and nonprofits to achieve its mission. The foundation has awarded 1,421 grants worth over $698 million since its inception. To learn more about applying for a grant, visit or call 888.684.8404.

About NC Rural Infrastructure Authority:
The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) reviews, approves and monitors requests for state and federal funds administered by NC Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. The RIA is comprised of 15 members appointed by the Governor and General Assembly leaders. The Commerce Secretary is an ex officio member of the Authority, which meets six times a year. Since the Authority’s creation in late 2013, the RIA and Commerce Rural Economic Development have facilitated $120 million in grants and loans to support utility upgrades, road and rail access, building reuse and demolition projects, plus other infrastructure improvements enabling job growth in North Carolina’s less populated communities.

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