Gateway leaders chide Nash withdrawal


Staff Writer

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Carolinas Gateway Partnership leaders are letting investors now how disappointed they are that Nash County is leaving the public-private industrial recruitment agency.

Over the past 22 years, Nash County has contributed $7.2 million to the partnership and received $977.3 million in tax base growth and 7,388 new jobs, according to a letter dated April 5 and signed by Gateway Chairman Don Williams, Gateway CEO Norris Tolson, Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs, Rob Barnhill of Barnhill Construction and Vince Andracchio.

"So even though 22 years of partnering with Edgecombe, Nashville, Tarboro and Rocky Mount have produced significant growth for all the partners, that growth was apparently not sufficient for Nash," the letter states.

Nash commissioners voted earlier this month to leave the partnership and control their own economic development operations. Commissioners expressed concern of the lack of new projects in the last four or five years.

The partnership letter states the lack of projects isn't the result of lack of activity but clients deciding to locate somewhere else for whatever reason. The partnership worked 151 projects for Nash County with 34 projects still being developed.

"The partnership intends to work these remaining projects as aggressively as we always have until Nash leaves the partnership on October 1, 2019," according to the letter.

Even though Nash County has a large representation on the partnership's executive committee and one officer on the leadership team, discontent hasn't been expressed officially or otherwise, according to the later.

The other partners want to keep the partnership together.

"We have no doubt in our future success," the letter states.