Rural Economic Development Center may suffer from budget cuts

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ASHEBORO, NC -- Budget plans from Governor Pat McCrory and the State Senate both target a program important to rural counties for budget cuts.

Gov. McCrory's plan suggests cutting $6 million from the Rural Economic Development Center, while the Senate plan proposes a re-organization and possible defunding.

The REDC was budgeted for $16.6 million last year, according to the News & Observer.

It's programs are geared toward kick starting job creation and economic growth outside of North Carolina's urban centers.

One Piedmont county that has made frequent use of the REDC is Randolph County.

Bonnie Renfro, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, rattled off almost a dozen projects started or completed in the last four years that used funds from the REDC.

Currently, Kevin Hill is building a grocery store in Seagrove -- the town's only one -- that used about $148,000 to run sewer and water lines to the construction site.

The Randolph County Senior Adult Association is building a new senior adult center on Church Street in Asheboro with $15,000 in REDC funds.

"It's one of the few ways to get investment in less populated areas," Renfro said.

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