Cherry Point lobby group seeks funds from New Bern, county

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 06:59 PM.

"If Cherry Point were to close, it would take with it over $2 billion in annual economic impact and about 5,000 jobs from Carteret, Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties," Sanders said in the letter. "… Every local government would feel a dramatic negative impact. Property values would collapse, tax revenues would dry up and new growth would immediately grind to a halt. It is in every citizen’s interest to protect Cherry Point and every local government organization and business should contribute to the effort."

To continue lobbying and educating the public, ACT has conceived an annual, ongoing local funding strategy that asks cities and counties for financial support in relationship to the number of residents they govern within the region.

Because Craven County is home to Cherry Point and is the most populous of the four counties, Craven would be asked to take the lead, Sanders said.

"However the loss of Cherry Point’s economic impact and jobs would affect everyone from the largest county to the smallest town," the letter said. "Every single jurisdiction organization and person will suffer if Cherry Point goes away and each must help ACT according to the relative impact of Cherry Point’s loss and their ability to participate."

ACT plans to ask Havelock for $10,000 in the city’s upcoming budget. Havelock officials are continuing work on the upcoming budget and have not made a determination on how much money, if any, ACT will receive from the city.

Rick Hemphill, Craven County finance director, said ACT is requesting $25,000 from the county for the 2013-14 budget. Last year, Craven County did not appropriate any funds directly to ACT, but did pass on $65,000 from the N.C. Department of Commerce, he said.

In past years, Craven County has appropriated $7,500 to ACT, Hemphill said. He added Craven County has not started its 2013-14 budget deliberations yet.

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