County, EDC hear Daniel Road report
A joint meeting of the Rutherford County Commission and the Rutherford County Economic Development Commission board uncovered more details on the potential development of 90 acres of county-owned property along Daniel Road.
The report, presented by McCallum Sweeney Consulting and Stimmel Associates — an engineering firm based in Winston-Salem — uncovered positives and negatives of the site which could be used to help potential companies utilize the site for development.
The study was done in conjunction with the acreage being selected for the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program.
Sarah White, with McCallum Sweeney, said their study encompassed technical and marketing evaluations of the site which included transportation accessibility, utilities, workforce availability, and the site location.
Luke Dickey, engineer with Stimmel Associates, said a preliminary recommendation would be to create an industrial park with the acreage rather than try to attract one large business.
"It can be done as one large project but it would probably not be cost-effective," Dickey said.
Additionally, McCallum Sweeney Consulting picked out three different industrial options that could be targeted for the park. They identified auto parts, light industrial/assembly and plastics as potential candidates for the location.
"This is not comprehensive but more of a snapshot," said Mark Sweeney, of McCallum Sweeney.
White said the report found two potential streams located on the property which could require future mitigation if and when a prospective business were to move into the area.
The study also revealed the potential for contamination at the site from an "up-gradient plastic packaging plant." White noted that there has not been any due diligence done at the site to state for sure whether there is any contamination at the site. The report recommended a second environmental study to see what, if any, environmental issues could be at the site.
Another potential weakness to the site is access to Interstate access and a lack of rail service to the site.
"The distance to the Interstate may be a weakness for some projects but not all," White said. "That is the same for the lack of rail service."
The site did rate high in utility adequacy and capacity, receiving high marks in electricity, gas and water systems on the acreage.
The park being outside a floodplain, owned by the county and having large, developable areas also rated high on the technical aspect of the site.
On the marketing side, the site rated high with attractive quality of life and adequate business and industrial services available. However, some concerns were with job loss in the county and limited hotel and restaurant options.
Sweeney said the county can start marketing the site immediately but, with the understanding there are some questions that have to be addressed.
"You can start with the marketing now, recognizing there are still questions to be answered and you can answer those questions as they come," Sweeney said.