Taking inventory

When it comes to vacant buildings, Catawba County has plenty of them.

The problem is, as economic development officials work to recruit new industries and jobs to the area, not all of them are suited for the demands of modern-day operations.

But which ones are ready to welcome a new business, and where are they?

"We are trying to find out what is marketable and what isn't and then what we can do with those buildings," said Newton Mayor Anne Stedman. "I am trying to wrap my brain around what our available properties are."

Toward that end, Newton leaders joined property devlopers and Catawba County Economic Development Corp. leaders on a tour to find out just what what is available in Newton. All total, the group visited eight sites throughout Newton to gain a better idea of what vacant properties are suited for industries that could bring jobs to the area.

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.