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PIP’s Efforts to Acquire Iron Horse Industrial Site Move Forward

Natalie Hawkins, executive director of Moore County Partners in Progress (PIP), said her organization is working to acquire a portion of the Iron Horse industrial Park near N.C. 211 East in Aberdeen. In a presentation to the County Commissioners on February 7th, Hawkins explained that Partners in Progress is asking Moore County and Aberdeen to each contribute $200,000 toward the $584,000 cost of acquiring the land as part of an Economic Development Joint Agreement.

Under the proposed agreement, the county and town would loan the money to Partners in Progress at 4 percent interest over 15 years.

“I do believe this is our best industrial site in Moore County,” Hawkins said of the 73-acre property, adding that the parcel has immediate access to water and other infrastructure. “I believe that this investment will benefit the taxpayers of Moore County. It will bring in additional revenues as well as stimulate employment opportunities and the overall economy as we are able to recruit clients to the site.”

In a memo to the commissioners, Hawkins wrote that acquiring the property will allow the organization to “develop the site to make it more attractive to potential clients by shortening their development timelines.”

The commissioners voted to schedule a public hearing for Hawkins’ request during their next regular meeting on Feb. 21. A similar hearing will be held later this month in Aberdeen, where officials have so far responded favorably to the proposal.

During a January meeting of the Aberdeen Board of Commissioners, Mayor Robbie Farrell called the site a “gold mine” ripe for development.

“This is not all about Aberdeen; it just happens to be in Aberdeen,” he said. “We’re excited about it, and we’re excited because this will help all of Moore County.”

(Original Article by Jaymie Baxley, The Pilot)

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