County, city leaders seek answers on new economic development group

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 08:36 AM.

A county-wide economic development plan in its final stages has elected and other officials unsure about what would be asked of them.

A group of city and county leaders, mostly from New Bern and Havelock, met at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center Monday for the second formal presentation by RKG Associates Inc. about the plan, which was commissioned by the county.

Those leaders wanted most to know who would pay what part of the tab to operate a new 501(C)(3) nonprofit economic development group, who would be on its board, what size board would be, whose interests it would most represent and how fast it could reasonably expect to be up and running.

“That depends on the communities,” said Kyle S. Tolente, vice president of RKG. “They need to talk about what they are willing and aren’t willing to participate in.”

Tolente said he thought that in one to four weeks work could be done to move the organization forward for six months, but that it could take up to two years for the group to get in place.

The proposal is scheduled to go to a strategic planning work group Wednesday for some final decisions.

Tolente gave general recommendations and highlighted those he thought a planning group feels were most important. He said the bottom line for recruiting new industries and supporting and expanding existing ones is that all involved work together for the common good of all, regardless of the location of the business or industry.

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