Progress takes time

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Sometimes, fortunes change with the flowing of the tides.

In the case of Lambsburg and Carroll County, the economic tides turned when finding a source of ground water allowed a major investment to move forward.

Drilling a successful well was the remaining hurdle to clear in attracting a new company to locate off Interstate 77’s Exit 1 in Lambsburg.

Carroll supervisors, a company official and developers announced the scope of the new project last Thursday, revealing that Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores would spend $7 to $9 million to locate a 10,000-square-foot facility with fueling stations for 16 cars and eight big rigs and housing two fast food restaurants.

It’s unequivocally good economic news for Carroll, with the 70 to 90 jobs associated with the national chain’s new location.

And a facility worth $8 million, for example, could mean an injection of $47,000 in real estate taxes to the county, plus sales and meals tax revenue from the store and the fast food franchises inside.

While details about the project came out last week, it’s been general knowledge that Carroll officials have been trying to prepare three of the county’s interstate exits for development for years.

Officials have been working on getting public water and sewer services to three of the county’s interstate exits for some time to replicate the successes that have taken place at Exit 14 at Hillsville.

It was five years ago and more, for example, that federal funding for the Airport Road water project raised the hopes to boost economic development activities at Exit 19.

That water system came online this year.

Already working on the Love’s project for two years, it won’t be until the end of 2009 that the business in Lambsburg opens.

It just goes to show how complicated seemingly simple matters can become and how much time these things take.

If not for that difficult-to-obtain flow of water, Carroll County could have missed out on this development opportunity.