The grant would help the county acquire a 209-acre piece of property abutting Riverbend Park. Planning and Parks Director Jacky Eubanks presented the council with the facts.

The board approved the initial purchase of the property in November from Byron Bean. The property in question has an appraised value of $1.2 million, according to documents.

“In honor of his late wife, Harriet Hafer Bean, it was stipulated that the property be used exclusively as a park for health, recreational, and educational purposes, and the park and/or property bear a name in her honor,” according to the county’s documents.

“To advance her wishes, Mr. Bean approached the county and offered the property for $400,000 with the remainder of the $1.2 million appraised value to be accepted as a donation.”

The board voted to move forward and allow staff to apply for the PARTF grant and expects to hear back from the state by September, Eubanks said.

After the special meeting, commissioners held their regular scheduled meeting.

Commissioners held two public hearings during the regular session, one to approve an economic development agreement with Prysmian Cables and another to consider a rezoning request.

Nathan Huret with the Economic Development Corporation explained the Prysmian project to the board.

The original announcement for Prysmian’s expansion came in December when the company announced its intentions for a $20 million expansion in Claremont, Huret said. The expansion will create 50 new jobs with an annual salary exceeding the county average.

“The project builds from a pilot phase that was successfully completed in 2015, with new state-of-the-art preform and fiber drawing operations and will reach full capability within three years.  The new equipment is expected to provide supply chain advantages and improved quality control for the Catawba County operation due to less reliance on external suppliers of preform assemblies.”

Commissioners approved the incentives package, which requires the minimum of $20 million investment as well as the creation and maintenance of 50 new jobs; in return, the county offers an incentive amount equal to 50 percent of the ad valorem tax receipts for three years, with a maximum of $172,500. If the company exceeds its promises, creates 65 new jobs, and invests $30 million, the incentives would add an additional two years for a maximum $287,500.

Commissioners also voted to approve a zoning map amendment on N.C. Highway 150 from Rural Commercial and Highway Commercial to Planned Development-Conditional Zoning.

Wynnefield Properties requested the amendment for approximately 9.9 acres with the intentions developing Meridian Pointe Apartments, which will consist of three building and 80 residential units.