TEASER Aerial View of Pinehurst Village

Aerial view of the Village of Pinehurst. (Photograph by Ted Fitzgerald/The Pilot)

A $25 million dollar business development project in Pinehurst that is expected to generate 50 jobs will be discussed by county and village leaders in early September.

The Moore County Board of Commissioners and Pinehurst Village Council have announced separate public hearings on Tuesday, Sept. 8 to consider proposed economic incentive agreements with an as-yet, unnamed organization that intends to build a new facility within Pinehurst’s village limits.

Called “Project Woodpecker,” the project has been under tight wraps since early March, when county and village officials began holding closed sessions to discuss the concept.

According to the required legal notice for the public hearings, the project would create 50 jobs retained or created above Moore County’s average wage level. The N.C. Department of Commerce reported the area's individual median wage earnings were $33,288 in 2018.

In addition to the new facility, the organization will also “periodically host events that will include substantial investment,” thus generating tax revenue and enhancing business prospects in the area.

The proposed agreement includes 10 years of incentive grants to be calculated as 90 percent of the total property taxes paid above and beyond the current ad valorem tax value, provided the organization meets job creation and capital investment goals. Grant funding would be paid by the county and Pinehurst from new tax revenues collected as a result of the organization’s investment.

No additional information about the organization or specific details about the project have been announced.

In a July telephone interview with The Pilot, County Chairman Frank Quis acknowledged that local officials have been working under a confidentiality agreement.

“What I can say is that I am optimistic about a couple of projects in Moore that seem to be moving forward. It is important that elected officials are forthright to the extent you can be.”

The Moore County Board of Commissioners will convene for a special meeting and public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 4:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Historic Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Square in Carthage.

The Pinehurst Village Council will convene for a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 395 Magnolia Road in Pinehurst. The meeting discussion and hearing can also be viewed online at www.vopcnc.org/live.

(16) comments

Kent Misegades

In defense of Pat Corso and his efforts - I have been a staunch opponent of corporate welfare including a lawsuit against the state when Hunt was governor and Jim Fain was secretary of commerce. Seven citizens sued the state over incentives given to Dell for a plant they built near Winston Salem. We lost on the usual lame argument of not having standing, as if all taxpayers are not affected by such actions. We were vindicated a few years later when Dell closed the plant. Yes, there are claw backs but not for all expenditures, for instance infrastructure - new roads, power, water, sewer, etc. I also served for two years on the board of the Global Transpark in Kingston - unpaid and at the request of then House Speaker Tillis. I left after two years out of disgust over the sloppy management, poor accounting practices, and jack of desire from the state to make a profit. There is plenty of blame to go around - politicians of all varieties are absolutely addicted to handing out money that they did not earn themselves. The big money is made by the shadowy middle men. The magazine Business NC, published by The Pilot, is where these people advertise their services. Look into the really bad examples of corporate welfare, for instance the Goodyear plant in Fayetteville, the Teapot museum in Sparta or - the absolute worst - Randy Parton Theatre debacle in Roanoke Rapids. As far as I know, manufacturing is not allowed by the Village of Pinehurst, which is ironic, as it was built by people whose wealth was largely from industry. I know that Pat spends much time working to diversify our economy to include more industry. We are now paying the price for basing it too much on entertainment, Health care and government paychecks, none of which generates true wealth.

Kathy Webster

You are very informed Kent. I hope you are part of the discussion. Great examples of the corporate welfare.

Richard Wright

Partners for Progress is and always has been a scam. Corso with his benefits draws $150000 annually plus a generous benefit package (and expenses of $50000 total) for absolutely nothing, paid in large part by the taxpayers. His assistant makes another $70000 plus benefits. Heck they get $4200 for telephones. I cannot believe, that with the economic issues facing the county and municipalities that they continue this relationship.

Jim Davis

50 jobs above the median wage level all for the great deal of "10 years of incentive grants to be calculated as 90 percent of the total property taxes paid above and beyond the current ad valorem tax value"...sounds and smells like a Partners in Progress scam deal on the backs of tax payers. Hold on to your wallets Pinehurst.

Kathy Webster

Very insightful comments.

Kathy Webster

Guess we need to see just what the project is before we make a decision. Good comments by all on this one. 50 new jobs is a good thing these daze and it sounds like some type of shipping/receiving facility (Amazon, etc)???. Must be kind of divisive if it's kept a secret..just speculating since that's all the info we have at this time......

Robert Tyska

Doubt a shipping/receiving facility is it. Not a good fit for the Village, not high paying jobs, not a logical or cost effective place for one and they wouldn't be hosting events. Reading between the lines I have a pretty good idea of which current local employer could want a larger facility that would “periodically host events that will include substantial investment.” They have a really big event coming up in a few years and if has gotten this far the Village is more then happy to help them.

Kathy Webster

Great points all around. You are probably right...

Robert Tyska

You shouldn't have to bribe anyone to come here. I did it all on my own they can too. If they are leaving a high cost area they will see plenty of savings without the need to pay them off. I left Connecticut because the Government was doing stupid things like giving away money to companies who never lived up to the agreements and left ordinary taxpayers holding the bag. As soon as the incentives are up the companies start looking for an offer from someone else. Don't fall into the trap.

jimmie canabera

Can we please have an update of the progess on the new schools in Moore County?

Laura Douglass

The Pilot published this update on Aug. 21 about the new school buildings in Aberdeen, Southern Pines and Pinehurst. https://www.thepilot.com/news/moore-countys-new-school-buildings-progressing-on-schedule/article_d0cd7964-e3db-11ea-813c-eb9e6f892863.html

Kent Misegades

If any business is looking to expand in Pinehurst, they do NOT need corporate welfare, akin to “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”.

Barbara Misiaszek

Any business investing in Pinehurst is as entitled to"corporate welfare" as any business investing in any other part of North Carolina. If "corporate welfare" is available -TAKE IT.

John Misiaszek

Robert Tyska

Guess who pays for that "Corporate Welfare?" Regular taxpayers like you and I.

Barbara Misiaszek

Normally incentives are clawed back if goals aren't met. We need jobs and tax base,not including new houses built for us retirees from the north, here in Moore County. Unless those jobs and commercial / industrial tax base materialize taxes are certain to increase.

John Misiaszek

Kent Misegades

John, think for just a minute. If corporate welfare is a good thing, how can it be denied to any business of any size, profitable or not? This is a race to the bottom where we all lose. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is Keynesian economics, which always ends in disaster - see Venezuela. Lower taxes, remove impediments to business, reward success, embrace school choice and apprenticeships to enter careers, and keep the government out of the way - that is how one builds a strong economy.

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