Aggressive promotion of Pretlow

Published 8:29 pm Friday, November 21, 2014

We all know that person. Any opportunity he or she gets to sell their competence to the boss, or even the boss’s boss, will not be missed.

Yet, it’s a little different when the aggressive promotion of themselves is actually backed up by accomplishments. That’s how we look at Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc. and the City of Franklin. At many city council meetings, they were on the cusp of an announcement for the Pretlow Industrial Park. Hardly any meetings would go by without the park’s potential being discussed in one way or another.

That’s because it was on the mind of many council members, along with City Manager Randy Martin and FSEDI President Amanda Jarratt. Promotion of the park had stepped up in recent years.

And we don’t see anything wrong with that. If you don’t sell yourself, then who will?

Thus the Pretlow Industrial Park is set to receive its first private development in its 30-year history. Providence Agriculture, a brand of Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings LLC, plans to purchase 10 acres of property for the construction of a manufacturing and distribution facility.

That’s going to be a $1.5 million investment in Franklin, and there will be nine jobs at the site with the idea to add more as the market develops.

While nine jobs might not seem a reason to sound the trumpet, the important thing to note is that it could be the first domino to set in motion to the addition of more jobs. It will also be one additional 10-acre property on the tax rolls, which we hope, in time as the economy improves, will enable the city to have more income while lowering the tax rate.

Nine jobs is also nine jobs that were not there before. As Franklin-Southampton tries to recover from the closure of the paper mill, every job added helps. It’s slowly getting back to where it was in the raw number of jobs, though many are not at the same salary International Paper employees received.

But as we get closer to the raw number of jobs, it’s important to have a diversification of industries in the area.