Stanly prepares for possible relocation of Charlotte company
Published 3:01 pm Thursday, May 16, 2019
As Stanly County prepares for a rumored company from Charlotte to relocate to Oakboro, how will 400 new jobs specified in the N.C. Senate’s economic incentive bill impact the county?
A state economic incentives bill recently passed in the state senate and was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
The Stanly News & Press reached out to community leaders to get their perspective on what would be one of the biggest economic wins for the county since the decline of the textile industry.
“We would welcome it,” Oakboro Police Chief T.J. Smith said. “Economically, it would be a huge positive look for our community.”
While Oakboro has an estimated 1,875 people, according to the 2017 Census, an influx of more than 400 new workers each day would be huge, but Smith said the town can easily make the necessary adjustments.
“We would be able to handle it,” he said, adding the Police Department has added two officers and two part-time officers since last year. “With growth, we will adjust accordingly.”
Barbara Fox, owner of Rotation Station thrift store and also president of the Greater Oakboro Business Association, said an influx of people would greatly help the town’s economy.
“I would hope that it would expand our businesses and bring new businesses to Oakboro,” she said.
But she also hoped that, even with the potential for more business, Oakboro could still keep its “small town feel.”
She doesn’t want to see the town get too big to where it might attract a Walmart.
Superintendent Dr. Jeff James said the public school system would be ready for more children.
With 400 new homes, the school system would receive approximately 120 students.
“We have 13 grade levels from K-12. So, in essence nine kids per grade level. We can accommodate this, without much issue,” he wrote via email.
Brian Freeman, president of Carolinas HealthCare System Stanly, is also ready.
“With a new business coming to Stanly County, we are well-positioned to provide expert care to patients across the care continuum from urgent care to primary care locations,” Freeman wrote in an email to The Stanly News & Press.
“We look forward to serving the employees of new businesses as they arrive in Stanly,” Freeman added.
“It’s a shot in the arm and the kind of stimulus that Stanly County has needed,” added Uwharrie Capital Corp. CEO Roger Dick.
The bill will create a new jobs incentive for a heritage manufacturing employer that’s specifically tailored to fit a business long rumored to be relocating to Stanly County.
The company that would relocate is likely Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, which is the nation’s top maker of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings, according to its website.
The company employs more than 1,400 employees at seven U.S. plants, including 474 at the cast-iron pipe plant on 55 acres of property in uptown Charlotte, according to a 2018 article in the Charlotte Business Journal.