Havelock debates joining county economic group

Published: Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM.

“Why hit us up front?” Mayor Will Lewis asked Downs and New Bern businessman Owen Andrews during their presentation.

“What do you get from the buy-in? The perception of the citizens,” Andrews said. “People want to know that the city of Havelock is committed to this. Otherwise, it won’t work. It shows that we have the city behind us.”

Commissioner Danny Walsh asked about up-front costs for other cities such as Vanceboro and Cove City, where more land would be available for large businesses.

“Other communities are going to benefit,” Commissioner George Liner said. “They’ve got the land. We’ve got 43 acres unless we tear down some of the old buildings.”

Liner pointed out that the money contributed to the Economic Development Organization from Craven County came in part from Havelock residents and Cherry Point workers already.

“To say that we don’t have buy-in is wrong,” Liner said. “It’s not Craven County’s money. It’s our money, too.”

The $25,000 would be equivalent to a penny added to the property tax rate in Havelock.

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