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Chatham EDC has always supported Chatham Park

By Dianne Reid
Posted Friday, February 13, 2015

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Pittsboro, NC - In November 2013, the Chatham Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors unanimously approved a motion to adopt a resolution supporting the 7,100-acre Chatham Park project. The resolution was written and signed by Larry Hicks and Keith Hurand, board co-chairs at the time, on November 26, 2013. The minutes and resolution are available here.

Since that time, the Chatham EDC has publicly promoted and supported the mixed-use development. In February 2014, an article titled ‘Why Chatham Park Matters’ outlined the problems with Chatham County as an unsustainable bedroom community, and further explains how Chatham Park’s plans could help balance the tax base, provide better local employment opportunities and improve access to basic goods and services for residents. The entire piece can be read here. The commercial components of Chatham Park align with Chatham EDC’s goals of creating good, well paying jobs and increasing the commercial tax base. By providing opportuni-ties to live, work and get services within the community, Chatham Park can help reduce the outcommuting and stem the county’s loss of retail sales to neighboring counties. Because of the project’s scale, Chatham EDC and the Chatham Park developers agreed that it was important to assess the economic impact of the project over its full forty year life. Dr. Michael Walden, an accomplished North Carolina State University economist who has conducted hundreds of such studies, was the obvious choice to per-form the study.

 

The Chatham EDC, as the lead economic development agency in the county, contracted with NC State University to perform the study with Dr. Walden as the principal investigator. The EDC does not have a budget for studies of this sort and Chatham Park deemed the work important enough to provide funding earmarked for this purpose. The total cost of the contract was $22,664, which was paid to the NCSU Office of Grants and Contracts by Chatham Economic Development Corporation.

Questions have been raised about the IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANning) tool, used for analyzing economic impact in the study. IMPLAN has been used for economic impact modeling since 1976. It is the most widely-used software for economic impact data in the United States. The limita-tions of the study were clearly identified in the study itself. The parameters for investment originated from the developer. Housing and commercial data is available in the Chatham Park master plan at pittsboronc.gov.

The Chatham EDC is a 501(c)3 non-profit and supported by both public and private investors and strives to be apolitical. Its work is guided by a long-range strategic economic development plan. The EDC provides support to businesses throughout the county and markets Chatham County as the preferred location for emerging growth companies.

The Chatham Park economic impact study and press release are available here.


 
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Chatham EDC has always supported Chatham Park
Dianne Reid is President of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation.
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