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Walking a fine line

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It’s a fine line to walk between appeasing those who want Grayson County to remain a rural community of vast farm land and open fields, and those wanting the county to bring new businesses in.

For the past five months, three developers have fought against some vocal members of the Fox Knob community while trying to get approval to bring a 252-site recreational park to Grayson.

Last week, the Grayson board of supervisors approved that permit, and in the bigger picture, it makes sense.

In these tough economic times, new businesses and new development opportunities are rare, and jobs are even harder to come by. Every day, we hear of new businesses closing, putting more and more residents of the Twin Counties — and surrounding areas — out of work.

These developers brought to the table an opportunity to not only have Grayson residents work during the three- to four-year building phases, but also to establish a few permanent positions on site. It could also contribute significantly to county revenue through tax dollars and utility fees.

The supervisors hit the nail on the head when they said that, if some of these development projects aren’t approved, prospective businesses would quit looking at Grayson as a viable option to locate.

That said, the supervisors shouldn’t jump to approve any project put before them. Even Spirit Harbor has issues that need to be addressed, such as making sure it has minimal environmental impact, that it doesn’t cause traffic problems or ruin the quiet community that longtime residents have come to enjoy.

Developers have already taken a step to reduce by 100 the number of cabins on the site, which is a good compromise. Grayson needs to pay close attention to this development to ensure that it and its neighbors can coexist peacefully.

Many of those opposed felt the park would not bring the expected revenue into Grayson because neighboring towns in North Carolina have more to offer. Could that be because the county had earned a reputation for being unfriendly to prospective businesses?

With the new prison opening in July 2010, as well as the Pizza Plus restaurant currently under construction in Independence, this park could open the door for many more businesses to follow.

Grayson County has to remain business friendly, and the supervisors took a step towards earning that title last week.