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Middlesex formally receives $1.5M business park grant

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MIDDLESEX — Town commissioners announced Monday evening that Middlesex has received a grant award letter for the Rural Ready Sites Grant Fund, which will allow officials to complete the Middlesex Corporate Centre project.

The grant, which totals $1,514,600, will be used along with a $1.2 million Golden Leaf Foundation grant a to provide critical infrastructure and water improvements for the corporate park. Upon completion, the town hopes to lure business to southern Nash County, touting the site’s access to Interstate 95 and U.S. 264. Construction of a shell building at the 330-acre business park is already underway.

The board approved a motion to allow David Hartigan of Hartigan Management Enterprises Inc., who was instrumental in securing the grant, to be the administrator of grant proceeds through the project’s duration. The company will be paid $25,000 for its services, which will be taken directly from grant proceeds.

“David prepared and wrote the grant, and he didn’t charge any money for that,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty rule of thumb that the person who wrote the grant will also administer the grant.”

In accordance with the grant’s requirement, the board approved a whistleblower policy that outlines the necessary steps a town employee should take in the event of actions taken by an employee that violates policy or the law. The policy also states that the town of Middlesex will not retaliate against an employee who reports such actions.

The board also approved the naming of full-time police officer Roger Sharon to the juvenile detective position created by the award of an $85,000 Governor’s Crime Commission grant last month. Sharon will be responsible, in part, for “identifying juveniles that are at risk for delinquency, living in injurious environments that would contribute to physical abuse, undisciplined behavior, neglect and truancy,” according to the job description. Sharon will move into the position effective Oct. 1.

Commissioners approved an online advertisement for the police officer position Sharon is vacating. The new officer will earn a $32,000 starting salary.

In other business, the board lauded Town Clerk Gloria Vinson for completing the Introduction to Local Government Finance course at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government on Aug. 30. The board also discussed the idea of implementing a rain date for the annual Christmas parade, currently scheduled for Dec. 8. The board decided to make a final determination at the October meeting.

After a closed session, the board announced the hiring of Bennett Manson as a part-time police officer in addition to Sharon’s promotion.