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Student Corner: Town of Hillsborough: Special Assessments (Part II)

February 20, 2014

In our series on the Town of Hillsborough’s use of special assessments for project development financing we left by contrasting the tool with tax increment financing in Part I of this series. Part II reviews some of the unique aspects of the implementation process. The School of Government’s Kara Mi … Continued

Update on CDBG Funding for Water and Sewer Projects in North Carolina

January 28, 2014

The Community Development and Block Grant Program (CDBG) is one of the key public sources of funds for community water and sewer projects in North Carolina and across the country. While the amount of funds available for water and sewer projects is not as large as other federal programs such as joint … Continued

Student Corner: Using a Crisis to Localize Your Rural Economy

January 23, 2014

Imagine that the employer your community has depended on for decades shuts down unexpectedly. Suddenly, ten-thousand people are now out of work and the local economy is in flux as residents begin searching for employment in neighboring municipalities. How do you respond to the sudden uncertainty and … Continued

Organizing for Economic Development

September 20, 2013

A series of posts last year profiled case studies for “How Counties Organize to Carry Out Economic Development.” Links to the series can be found here (parts I, II, III, IV, and V). The fifth case profiled Union County, NC, where—at the time—local leaders were considering a new multi-jurisdictional … Continued

Go Fish! Managing the eco(logical and nomic)-impact of commercial and recreational fisheries

August 27, 2013

Last week, I spent an afternoon “clamming” in a Massachusetts estuary with my family. After a few hours of futile “raking,” a local resident told my dad and me that a commercial fisherman swept the area just the week before, and we were unlikely to find very many clams. He directed us toward an area … Continued

Using Energy Programs to Turn Undesirable Properties into Economic Opportunities

June 25, 2013

Local governments may find opportunities for economic development through energy programs and energy installations.  Some communities have even used energy installations to turn otherwise undesirable properties into economic opportunities. The town of Hull, Massachusetts is located on a peninsula in … Continued

Student Corner: Historic Landmarks & Market Rate Housing Opportunities

April 11, 2013

  A historic, downtown building on Main Street has been vacant for the last 30 years. Once an iconic hotel for the Town, today the building is empty, other than a few occupied tenants filling retail space on the ground floor. The small Town has a tier 1 designation and is working hard to suppor … Continued

Do You Hear What New Elected Officials Are Saying about Economic Development?

February 19, 2013

This time of year, I travel across North Carolina orienting newly elected city and county officials. I routinely ask why they ran for office and hear how they want to strengthen the economy or attract good jobs. New to a city council or board of commissioners, these elected officials are eager to ac … Continued

Economic Development at the Top of the World

December 27, 2012

  Quick trivia question—what is the northernmost town on earth? If you answered Santa’s Village, sorry.  The man from the North Pole has had a busy week, but the actual answer is Longyearbyen in the Svalbard archipelago. The Svalbard archipelago lies about 400 miles north of the northern coast … Continued

Student Corner: Financing Development: the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

November 1, 2012

The shovels are out and the hard hats are on. One of the newest development projects in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina broke ground this month. USAInvestCo is building Northern Riverfront Marina and Hotel next to the City’s new Convention Center.  It will include a 204-slip marina, a hotel, ret … Continued