DAVIDSON COUNTY — The Davidson County Board of Commissioners is pulling its support and money from the Davidson County Economic Development Commission in favor of creating a separate county-run program.
During their meeting on Monday, the county commissioners unanimously voted to withdraw as a member of the EDC effective July 1, the start of the new fiscal year. The proposed 2023-24 Davidson County budget does not have a contribution to the Davidson County EDC, and it has a new staff position of economic development director.
The withdrawal is a potentially crippling blow to the EDC because each member of the public-private consortium — others are Lexington, Thomasville, Midway, Denton, Wallburg, Davidson-Davie Community College, some private developers and utility providers — contributes a yearly amount to its budget. Davidson County is by far the largest contributor at $248,000 a year. In comparison, the city of Lexington contributes about $40,000 annually.
The EDC is the primary contact point for businesses and industries planning to expand or considering bringing new operations to the area. Some of its more recent successful projects include the recruitment of a $700 million manufacturing plant by EGGER Wood Products in 2017; a $350 million steel rebar micro mill by Nucor Corp. in 2022; and plans for a $220 million railcar manufacturing facility announced by Siemens Mobility in March.
During a budget retreat in March, the commissioners pulling out of the Davidson County EDC because they felt the county was not well represented. Commissioner James Shore said that the county “should have someone of their own, … loyal to us and not anyone else, no other irons in the fire.”
Several of the commissioners said they would want to at least partner with other municipalities on economic development projects.
County Manager Casey Smith said that he and Commissioners Todd Yates and Fred McClure, who are on the EDC board, will attend a special meeting of the EDC board on June 5 to discuss the withdrawal.
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