The Chatham County of the future is likely to look much different than today’s Chatham County. And a public hearing Monday night will allow citizens to add their voices to two major pieces of that future.
While Chatham Park is set to bring an explosion of growth to Pittsboro in central Chatham County, two other locations could be major contributors to the county’s employment numbers and tax base.
Chatham County has two “megasites” that officials have been marketing as each having the capacity to host a “large manufacturer.” Both the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing and Moncure megasites have been identified in the county’s Comprehensive Land Use plan as “major employment centers.”
The county will hold a public hearing Monday night on options to purchase each site to ensure they will remain eligible for grant funding. Some of that funding has already been invested in infrastructure at the two sites, including extending water and sewer lines, in hopes of making the sites more attractive to potential businesses.
“We believe strongly that both of these are great sites that have the potential to attract a large manufacturer,” said Kyle Touchstone, president of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation. “However, if that doesn’t happen, we’ve improved infrastructure in the areas adjacent to the sites and that infrastructure will be in place whether we have a project or not.”
If the Chatham County Board of Commissioners approve the options for both megasites, the agreements would be set to expire June 1, 2022.
Officials say nine percent of Chatham County’s tax base comes from industrial and commercial land uses, which is lower than neighboring counties, meaning these sites – and the already in progress development of Chatham Park – will likely transform the county in more ways than one.
The public hearings are set for six o’clock Monday night at the Historic Courthouse in Pittsboro.