Economic developer: Get ready, Mocksville poised for growth in next five years

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, March 22, 2023

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By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

Recognizing that a goal without a plan is just a wish, the Mocksville Town Board held its first budget retreat – spending a half-day discussing challenges and needs facing the town during the coming year.

Town Manager Ken Gamble urged department heads to look at the big picture before making specific decisions about allocating resources.

Board members listened to presentations by the manager, economic development, engineer, and the heads of each department – which provided a progress report toward its strategic goals and shared funding needs for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

“The strategic plan provides a framework for achieving the town’s goals and provides accountability to ensure we stay on track with what we have agreed is important,” Gamble said.

He said 154 specific action items were assigned to the town departments this year as part of the strategic plan, with 56 percent completed.

“We are about where we need to be for the year.” An additional 42 percent are in progress, and he anticipates most of those will be completed by the end of the year. The town has been unable to address a few goals because of extenuating circumstances. He said that the multi-year action items are now 73% complete.

Gamble provided priorities for the coming fiscal year:

• Pavement & Sidewalk Study w/ Maintenance Plan.

• Fire Needs Study Facilities, Equipment & Staffing (Long-Term Planning).

• Strategic Planning Dashboard & Agenda Software (Transparency & Accountability).

• Apply Asset Inventory & Assessment Data (AIA) Data to Improve Water & Sewer Systems.

• Update 2019 Comprehensive Plan (2024-25 Fiscal Year).

• Joint Parks Survey w/ Davie County.

• Trails Steering Committee

Rana Gaither said the town hopes to develop a sustainable cost recovery policy for Rich Park, recruit and retain a skilled workforce, leverage technology and innovative business approaches to enhance customer service and improve business efficiencies, and expanding community engagement.

Board members toured the Mocksville Fire Department (MFD) with Chief Frank Carter and a Public Works with Director Brian Moore.

Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development, provided an economic development forecast for Mocksville, saying, “I have great news on where we are heading as a community economically and some things we might need to be on the lookout for over the next few years, particularly in the area of infrastructure.”

He described a few upcoming projects:

• Avgol – $97 million expansion and 52 new jobs;

• Magna Shade – provides shades for RVs and is expanding to yachts, 75 to 100 jobs; and

• SES – transfer truck division from Winston-Salem to build a virtual studio.

He also shared how vital spec buildings are to Mocksville’s growing economy.

“It’s all about speed to market. If you have a company looking and you don’t have a building, you are out of the game…  When a company calls me today, they want a building. Manufacturing is coming back to this country.”

He said Mocksville is in the enviable position of having private developers assuming all of the risks.

“We took the position long ago that we wouldn’t compete with the private sector. Our program is pretty special. Try to find another small community in North Carolina with this type of program. It’s not out there.”

He noted that some public money is invested in performance-based incentives, but the companies must meet their commitments before receiving them.

He provided updates about four industrial projects in the works but shared that their progress has been hindered because it will take one to two years to get enough electrical power to them.

• Triwest Business Park, 297,000 sqare-foot building;

• Davie Industrial Center Phase II, 500,000+ square-foot facility;

• Blackwelder site, 105 acres at US 601 N at Cana Road, up to 1 million square feet of industrial space possible (annexation pending); and

• Angell Knoll Drive, 200 acres in rezoning and annexation process)

Bralley anticipates the build-out of these sites to take 8 to 10 years to complete.

He also said a motel study is being done for Mocksville and Bermuda Run.

Chuck Willis and Sydnee Potter of Willis Engineers, the town’s engineering contractor, detailed the town’s water and wastewater projects.

Additional projects will concentrate on improvements to the water and sewer facilities north of  I-40 to allow for continued growth in that area. The SouthPoint Pump Station and force main and north elevated tank projects are in the design process. Both are being funded by appropriations in last year’s state budget.

The budget retreat was the first public meeting in the FY2023-24 budget process. The budget will continue to be discussed at the regular monthly board meetings, the next scheduled for April 4.

Budget details are availabe at town hall and at