by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond | by Jordan Green

High Point bows out of bidding war for call center

High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill indicated that city leaders in the Triad’s third largest city had no interest in getting into a bidding war with their larger neighbors to land a call center.

Discussions between local officials and company leaders about possible incentives are typically conducted with discretion, so Hill’s displeasure with requester CFS II over the company’s efforts to court other cities was evident by his choice of CC-ing his correspondence to media outlets. The Winston-Salem City Council had approved incentives worth up to $500,000 on July 16, and the News & Record reported that the next day some members of Greensboro City Council said they were willing to compete with neighboring municipalities for the company’s business.

“The way the project has been handled from the beginning has been unusual, with the company announcing to the media which buildings were under consideration,” Hill wrote last week in a public letter to Thomas Wenkstern, senior vice president of real estate consulting firm UGL Services-Equis Operations. “More recently, a public bidding war for incentives packages has broken out — even to the point in a media article today in which elected officials in another jurisdiction spoke publicly about what was said in High Point’s closed session earlier this week and promised to ‘outbid’ High Point. “It is not in the company’s interest, and it is not in the Piedmont Triad’s interest, and it is not in High Point’s interest — nor our practice — to participate in such a public bidding war. “Thus — at the direction of the High Point Mayor, the city council members, and the city manager — we respectfully withdraw any tentative incentive package possibility that we have conveyed to you for your client. Instead, should the company decide that the High Point building is the preferred location in the Piedmont Triad, then the city of High Point will be pleased to meet with your client to discuss possible incentives that might be needed to land the project. “Please do not mistake our intent — we clearly want to work with you and your client, and we want CFS II to open operations in High Point. We will not, however, allow our city and our region to get into such a non-productive effort as this has suddenly evolved.”

Forsyth area mental health agency finds federal funding cuts ‘devastating’

CenterPoint Human Services, the political division of the state of North Carolina responsible for administrative oversight of the mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse service system for Forsyth, Stokes, Davie and Rockingham counties, learned on July 13 that its budget will be reduced by $1.3 million as a result of federal block grant cuts.

“Throughout the past year, we have been working with state officials and legislators to avert another major cut to service dollars,” CEO Betty Taylor said in a prepared statement. “The funding reduction strikes a devastating blow to our provider and to people in Forsyth, Stokes, Davie and Rockingham counties needing publicly funded services for mental health conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities and addictive disorders.”

High Point Salvation Army asks for donations

The Salvation Army Stores in High Point reports that donations are at an all-time low, imperiling services that are funded by the enterprise. Donors are asked to drop off items at the store’s two High Point locations, at 1501 S. Main St. and 2531 Eastchester Drive, or to call 336.881.5424 for pickup of larger items.