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County plans to market old fairgrounds for industry

Henderson County has won a $175,000 grant to grade the old Fairgrounds property and market it for industrial development.

The Board of Commissioners this week authorized the firm of William G. Lapsley & Associates to perform engineering work on site development and grading. Henderson County officials have been working for about eight years on a cleanup of the property after a resident said that barrels had been dumped there.
"We worked over a period of years to gain a letter of 'no further action required,'" County Manager Steve Wyatt told board members. "That's as close as you're going to get to a clean bill of health. It's been going on for eight or nine years working through the process ... The next step would be to do some basic type site improvement to get it ready to put it on the market as a potential industrial site."
The governor's office notified the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development on Oct. 1 that the county had won a grant through the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Lapsley told the county that the firm would engineer the grading to maximize the usable acreage on the 15-acre site while providing maximum flexibility and preserving rail access. The firm will also sketch suggested building placement and parking lot locations, prepare construction cost estimates and a timeline for construction permits. Wyatt said with approval of the board, county officials will negotiate a contract with Lapsley to complete the engineering.
A grading contract would be approved in April and work done by Aug. 31. The property is on Spartanburg Highway southeast of the Elkamet plant.
"This will be a green site that we're able to market and bring people in to show that this site is ready to go," Wyatt told the commissioners.