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Governor OKs step to restart N.C. economy
Monday, 18 May 2020 22:27

From Staff Reports 


RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper and his Coronavirus Task Force on May 5 unveiled the timeline and details for their plan to reopen North Carolina for business.

The governor said the state would enter phase one of a three-phase plan beginning at 5 p.m. May 8.

Phase 1 differs only slightly from the regulations most of the state already has been under, Cooper said, noting that the main difference will be the reopening of “non-essential” businesses.

Up until May 5, “Cooper’s plan has been vague on details at best, citing only the daily positive case counts and the number of hospitalizations as a metric to reopen the state,” according to a report by Mark Starling, morning host of Asheville radio station WWNC-AM (570-AM).

“The governor stressed that if the state sees a spike (in coronavirus cases), the length of time for Phase 1 will be extended past two weeks,” Starling noted.

Starling also reported that, on May 4, “Buncombe County officials announced they planned to move forward on the same timeline as the state when it comes to re-opening the county.”

$28M Amazon facility to employ 200 in Mills River
Monday, 18 May 2020 22:25

From Staff Reports


MILLS RIVER — Inc. has revealed that it will locate a distribution center employing about 200 people in Mills River (population 7,359).

Amazon, is “an American multinational conglomerate technology company based in Seattle, with 750,000 employees,” according to its website.

A May 14 story in the Asheville Citizen Times quoted Mills River Town Manager Daniel Cobb as saying, “‘In these times when there’s so much economic uncertainty, and honestly so many jobs being lost, it’s really nice to see some good news. And that is that the facility going up there on Fanning Fields Road is an Amazon Distribution Center.’”

The story added, “The large building under construction near U.S. 280 (Boylston Highway) has posed an intriguing mystery, with the town previously saying only that it would be a distribution center of some kind. But Cobb was able to confirm the Amazon name on May 13.”

Cobb said that he had reviewed the preliminary sign designs on May 13 for Amazon, the ACT noted and quoted Cobb as adding, “They are being revised to comply with town code. I expect final drawings in the coming days.”

The project site, which encompasses about 27 acres with a 112,000-square-foot building, amounts to a total investment of $28 million. Mills River issued a permit for the project Dec. 4, 2019, the ACT noted.

Close Hendersonville’s Main Street on weekends? Plan would allow expansion of outdoor retail, dining space ... with social distancing
Monday, 18 May 2020 22:24

From Staff Reports


HENDERSONVILLE — A plan recently was unveiled to close — temporarily — Main Street in Hendersonville to traffic on weekends to allow downtown restaurants and retail businesses to expand their spaces outdoors into the street to recoup for the loss of customers due to social-distancing restrictions.

The restaurateurs as well as the retailers suffered a major financial hit during the roughly six-week closure required under Gov. Roy Cooper’s statewide directive from from late March until May 8, as the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Hendersonville City Council was briefed during a May 8 meeting on the “Open Main Street/Love Hendo” plan drafted by the Downtown Hendersonville program.

Main Street closure would allow for restaurants to expand outside dining, and retail businesses would be able to set up spaces outdoors as well during Friday evenings — as well as all-day and into the night on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition to Main Street, the city is also considering waiving parking requirements for restaurants citywide so that they would be able to extend outdoor dining into their parking lots.


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