STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA                                          BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

COUNTY OF HENDERSON                                                                             JANUARY 3, 2001


The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 12:30 p.m. in the Conference Room at Advantage West at the Asheville Airport. This was a joint meeting held with the Greater Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce to discuss economic development.


Those present from Henderson County Government were:  Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Charlie Messer, and County Manager David E. Nicholson (also Acting Clerk to the Board).


Absent was: Commissioner Don Ward.


Also in attendance were: Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, the Committee of 100, Advantage West, NC Department of Commerce and the public.



Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order at 12:45 p.m.  He then turned the meeting over to Scott Hamilton with the Committee of 100 of the Chamber of Commerce for a presentation on economic development activities in Henderson County during the past 12 months.  



Scott Hamilton gave an overview of Carolina West which is a seven county consortium of economic development professionals in Western North Carolina.  They are a not for profit organization that does economic development marketing.  They work to assist both expanding industries and to recruit new business.


Dale Carroll of Advantage West updated the Board on the activities of his organization.  Advantage West is a part of the North Carolina Partnership for Economic Development.  They are one of seven of this type of organization in North Carolina.  They are the promotional arm for economic development in the western 23 counties.  They are primarily funded by the State.  Some of their initiatives include advertising available industrial sites, working with the local economic development professionals and the State Department of Commerce.  They are currently working on opening an office in Germany, developing a master plan for industrial sites and hiring a firm to do a labor force study.


Mr. Hamilton then presented the report from the Committee of 100.  They have 89 members and their goals include assisting existing businesses, attracting new businesses and to attract and retain quality jobs in Henderson County.  They receive their funds from the membership and County Government.  Some of their programs include industrial visitations, providing business seminars, and working with Blue Ridge Community College in studying a small business incubator. They have attended several trade shows to present our community to potential industries.  Last year they had 25 inquiries from industries requesting information on Henderson County.  Based on these inquiries, an additional taxable investment of 75 million dollars has been made in the community and 300 new jobs created.



During the question and answer period, the Board discussed issues such as how to go about the development of an industrial master plan and the activities that were addressed in the 1996 Technology Park Plan.  Also discussed were the slowdown in the automotive industry and the effect on local industries as well as the County=s role in developing a master economic development plan.


Chairman Moyer thanked the group for the presentation to the Board.


Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 2:30 p.m.  All voted in favor and the motion carried.







Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board                        William L. Moyer, Chairman

Notes taken by David E. Nicholson for

preparation of these minutes.