An extended roadway and an economic development magazine are on the horizon for Craven County.

An extended roadway and an economic development magazine are on the horizon for Craven County.
During Monday morning’s regularly scheduled Craven County Board of Commissioners meeting, Economic Development Director Timothy Downs gave commissioners an overview of the county’s current economic development plan.
Downs discussed the county’s plans to extend Executive Parkway, on the south side of Craven County Industrial Park, to the back of the property, which would open up 100 more acres for development.
“We’re also working with the C1A (Craven 100 Alliance) and trying to determine if, and where, we should build a new, small spec building, as a marketing tool and as an attractant to some small businesses to locate further in our industrial park,” he said.
With plans to access the additional 100 acres in the industrial park with the extension of the parkway, Downs said they want to get the land shovel-ready, which requires a variety of things including storm water drainage, site access and infrastructure.
“We’re working on all of those,” Downs said. “In addition, we’re working with the airport to identify land at the airport that could be used for development.”
Craven County also received a Smart Site grant from ElectriCities to assist in preparing shovel-ready sites for economic development.
“We’re nearly finished with that process,” Downs said. “It looks really promising and ultimately, the best thing about that is when it is finished through that process, ElectriCities will market that property for us, in addition to what we do.”
To further enhance economic development in Craven County, Downs announced the launch of a new business magazine slated to be released later this year.
“As you know, when I started there weren’t a lot of tools at my disposal to market the county to the outside world. The C1A has engaged with a firm called Journal Communications and they have a publication called Business Climate Magazine,” Downs said. “What ours will be is, essentially, just a general profile of the entire county.”
The magazine will cover education, the manufacturing industry, transportation, the military, tourism, health care and history.
“This will be a very strong piece for me to take out to the outside world, send out when I have inquiries, so that we can show what Craven County’s all about,” Downs said.
Local advertising dollars will support the publication so there will be no cost to the county or the C1A.
In other county news, the Harlowe Community Recreation Area and Picnic Shelter repairs were approved at a cost of $11,894.
The improvements will include fill-in sand for the playground as well as the renovation of the picnic shelter. The project was awarded to the lowest bidder, Coastal Craftsmen.
The basketball court also will be repainted as a separate project.

Contact Jennifer Cannon at 252-635-5671. Follow her on Twitter at JCannonNBSJ.