Economic development

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    Is anyone really going to ride the Lynx Blue Line extension?

    I’m super skeptical about this.  According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) allowed nine “current or potential future riders” to preview the Lynx Blue Line extension that is going to open mid-March.  And based on those nine people, the article seems to imply that…
    Julie Tisdale, February 20, 2018
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    Federal Infrastructure Plan

    President Trump’s budget acknowledges that the federal government cannot provide money for everything, but then increases federal spending in some areas and anticipates states, localities, and the private sector will provide even more money. Nowhere is this more visible than in the president’s plan for infrastructure. The plan reverses the…
    Joseph Coletti, February 13, 2018
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    Hundreds of thousands of dollars, but no new jobs

    The incentives game really has turned into a race to the bottom.  It used to be that state and local governments would put together a package to help lure a large company for a major project bringing significant numbers of new jobs to an area.  That sort of incentive package…
    Julie Tisdale, February 13, 2018
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    Frivolous spending with other people’s money. Again.

    I’ve been out of the office, so I’m a little behind on this story.  But even a week late, I just have to weigh in on this one. The News & Observer ran a piece last week about two new bridge projects in Raleigh – Wade Avenue over Capital…
    Julie Tisdale, February 8, 2018
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    Cooper to General Assembly: It’s My Money

    Gov. Roy Cooper’s spokesman Ford Porter definitively staked a claim to the permissibility of the constitutionally and legally questionable account related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Porter told WRAL last night, “We do not envision that the legislature will play a role in this process.”  …
    Joseph Coletti, February 7, 2018
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    Voluntary contribution? You can’t do that!

    Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget office did not answer a number of questions about the proposed $58 million escrow payment. The budget office’s response to General Assembly staff called the payment a “voluntary contribution” to the state. There is no precedent for this. In fact, I tried years ago…
    Joseph Coletti, February 6, 2018
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    Cooper to NCGA Staff: Pipeline Fund a ‘voluntary contribution’ To State

    From Carolina Journal: Responding to questions from the General Assembly’s senior nonpartisan staff, officials from Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget office said a $57.8 million agreement Cooper made with the operators of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a “voluntary contribution” that will be distributed by a yet-to-be-named board of directors.
    Donna Martinez, February 6, 2018
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    Strengthening rural North Carolina

    Who could argue with bringing economic vitality to small towns who aren’t home to famous forecasters or unbelievable events? Gov. Cooper announced creation of a two-person team to help rural towns with “projects such as infrastructure improvements, broadband access, and workforce training.” Press reports did not make clear…
    Joseph Coletti, February 2, 2018