VALDESE – The Valdese Town Council announced the addition of approximately 100 new jobs to the area at its regular meeting Monday. According to Town Manager Jeffrey Morse, the town has negotiated two leases with the N.C. Department of Corrections, which is considering moving up to three regional offices to community in the coming year.
The offices are slated to be housed in the Old Waldensian Mill off Main Street in downtown Valdese.
Both a regional office and a regional training office have been authorized to sublease the property from the town. Valdese leases the property from the local Erwin family.
According to property manager Clark Erwin, the mill, which was first constructed nearly 100 years ago, currently houses a public computer center operated by the Olive Hill Community Economic Development Corporation.
“Less than six months ago, I was contacted by one of the employees of the state,” Erwin said Tuesday. “They had heard things about the site and they were interested in looking at it.”
Erwin speculated that the structure and the surrounding community played a significant part in bringing the DOC to Valdese.
“Central location and proximity to the interstate are the main draws,” Erwin said. “I have to assume it also has something to do with the progress Valdese is making bringing businesses into the community.”
As part of the project, the town council will consider a $7,500 expansion of the current parking facilities outside the structure.
The council agreed to discuss the expenses at a public hearing at its next regular meeting in February.
“We’re having to develop additional parking spaces to accommodate the influx of additional employees coming to Valdese,” Morse explained Tuesday. Morse said his office will be doing everything they can to accommodate the additional jobs. “This will have a very positive economic impact for all our business here in town and in the community,” Morse added.
As of Tuesday, the two approved leases are pending authorization by the N.C. Council of State. A third lease for a regional personnel office in Valdese is still under negotiation.
At Monday’s meeting, the town also approved an $80,000 investment to resurface streets throughout the community. As part of the paving committee report and recommendations, the town, which usually only pays 33 percent of the costs, has offered to match costs up to 50 percent.
“We hope to entice people to come forward and take advantage of the town’s additional participation,” Morse said.
The town will provide residents a 120-day period to request assistance in paving any unpaved road in residential areas within the town limits.
The town requests that at least 16 feet of road be paved before authorization is permitted on a paving project.
The Valdese Town Council will hold its next regular meeting Monday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.