County waives landfill fees

In a move that could eliminate abandoned, eyesore buildings and spur new economic development, Catawba County leaders will waive certain landfill and erosion control permit fees beginning July 1.

During a Monday night meeting, Catawba County commissioners unanimously approved a program that waives landfill fees for land-clearing debris, construction and demolition debris, as well as fees for erosion control and demolition permits under certain conditions.

"What we are trying to do is create an opportunity for new growth to occur," Catawba County Economic Development Corp. President Scott Millar said, adding that Catawba County's current inventory of available buildings and properties doesn't exactly "meet-up" with what prospective job-creators are seeking. "This is the first step in trying to create a fertile ground for new development."

Developers in the Hickory community support Catawba County leaders' decision Monday night. Many, including Prism Development Managing Partner Andy Wells, have been lobbying for this type of action for a while.

"The sooner we improve our community by clearing out the old and obsolete, the sooner we can rebuild our economy and grow new jobs," Wells told The O-N-E on Tuesday.

For more details on this story, be sure to see the Wednesday edition of The Observer News Enterprise.