A major investment agreed to by the Kinston City Council on Monday will bring revenue to residents with minimal risks.
Shortly after its city council meeting, the council had a closed session to deliberate on the economic development agreement with Kinston Hospitality, LLC. When the council came out, an $11.5 million agreement for a hotel in Kinston was reached.
“A new place would provide more revenue in the city,” Kinston Mayor Pro Tem Joe Tyson said. “It will also make the hotel prices more competitive. We have three or four hotels and there are people who come out for family reunions or meetings, only to go to Greenville because their rates are lower.”
The development is expected to provide at least 25 full-time jobs within a year’s time. Broker Walter Poole of Poole Realty is part of the team that will incur the $11.5 million cost for construction and installation.
“We’re working with an investment group in Washington and they have a contract with Northwest corner, which is about three acres of land,” Poole said. “They have a franchise agreement to build a four-story upscale hotel. They were looking for help from the city and they agreed to a plan over a three-year period of tap fees. Once the land is conveyed, we’ll begin construction.”
The city will provide connection of the property to the city’s water and sewer system through tap fees for domestic water, fire line and sanitary sewer services. The city will pay about $12,900 for those services.
Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy believes the hotel will truly benefit residents.
“This project helps create jobs, increases our tax base at little risk to the taxpayers,” Murphy said.
The city council voted unanimously on everything else brought to them in the meeting, including agreeing on the extension of Smithfield Way. The project is a joint effort between the city and Lenoir County to open up a corridor, relieving congestion on Hill Farm Road and U.S. Highway 70.
“That would be a plus because of the new industries coming in,” Councilman Sammy Aiken said. “You need roadways to attract companies and need good entrance ways.”
Another endeavor of importance included the authorization to execute an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation for the Queen Street Bridge Replacement Project. As a result, South Queen Street will be closed off next year until all repairs can be made.
“Although closing all lanes of traffic is not ideal, completing the project in half the time as well as receiving permanent improvements is necessary,” Murphy said. “This is a long-term gain.”
The council also took a look at the Utility Development Ordinance and will later update some of the regulations in the ordinance.
“We’re upgrading regulations and trying to satisfy citizens who aren’t in favor of solar panels,” Aiken said. “A lot of communities don’t want solar panels in the area, so the UDO explains how many feet from neighborhoods the panels can be, so they won’t be seen.”
Overall, Tyson was pleased with the amount of progress made in the open and closed sessions.
“We did some things that we hadn’t been able to get done in a while,” Tyson said. “It was good to wrap everything up and address what we needed to.”
The next city council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 5.
Junious Smith III can be reached at 252-559-1077 andJunious.Smith@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JuniousSmithIII.