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Southern Pines Town Leaders Consider Economic Development Project

The Southern Pines Town Council met in closed session Wednesday evening to consider a proposed economic development project. This marks the third occasion since April that town leaders have gone behind doors to discuss the as-yet unannounced proposal.

North Carolina open meetings law allows a public governing board to meet in closed session to discuss economic development incentives that may be in negotiation; however, any action approving an economic development contract or commitment must be taken in an open meeting session.

Town officials have been tight lipped about this project.

Historically speaking, Southern Pines has a very short but successful track record with economic development incentive efforts. Eight years ago the town and Moore County both chipped in to sway First Bank to relocate its headquarters from Troy to downtown Southern Pines.

The combined incentive deal tallied up to a $270,000 public investment while the payoff has been substantial. Since 2012, Firstbancorp, First Bank’s parent company, has grown its assets from $3.2 billion to more than $9 billion, and employs more than 1,000 full-time staff serving some 300,000 bank customers in the Carolinas.

In other action during Wednesday’s agenda meeting, the Southern Pines Town Council:

Scheduled a public hearing Tue, July 13 to consider a voluntary annexation request for a .35-acre tract at 465 Petty Street.

Scheduled a public hearing Tue, July 13 to consider a conditional use permit request for an 140-foot utility tower to be constructed at the Duke Energy substation at 184 Wooster Road.

Contact Laura Douglass at (910) 693-2474 or email

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