The IPDC Main Office in Rutherfordton is experiencing some plumbing issues and as such is opened Monday, June 19th in a limited capacity.  We are sorry in advance for this inconvenience.  
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June 19, 2017
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250

Mountain BizWorks Is Expanding its Small Business Lending Services
New Revolving Loan Increases Access to Capital to McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, and Cleveland Counties

2017 is on pace to be a record setting year for Mountain BizWorks and the small business industry in Western North Carolina. The organization, which provides lending and training services to entrepreneurs when bank financing is not available, has expanded their capacity to serve McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, and Cleveland counties thanks to newly-awarded loan funds from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Here are a few of the recent small business startup and expansion projects in the area that have benefited from this new fund at Mountain BizWorks:
Broad River Roasters in Boiling Springs has been around for 16 years and is set to create new jobs and expand their market thanks to a small loan from Mountain BizWorks this Spring.
The Unique Antique Station in Ellenboro opened six months ago with support from a small Mountain BizWorks loan and is now attracting customers from all over the state.
Mica Town Brewing, set to open in Marion later this year, jumped started their plans to open thanks to funding from Mountain BizWorks and partners they used to purchase space for the new brewery.
Mountain BizWorks is nonprofit CDFI specializing in small business lending and learning. Since 1989 the organization has  invested over  $18m in loans helping 1100 businesses get started that have collectively created over 45000 jobs. The mission of Mountain BizWorks is to build a vibrant and inclusive entrepreneurial community in Western North Carolina by helping small businesses start, grow, and thrive.
For more information about Mountain BizWorks and its small business lending program, please contact Christopher Murrey, Chief Credit Officer, at 828.747.1979 or
More information on their lending and training programs is also available at

Thermal Belt Rail Trail Project Moves Forward

 The Thermal Belt Rail Trail is moving forward and should become a reality in late 2018 as a result of action taken by the RHI Legacy Foundation Board of Trustees at its meeting on June 12th. The RHI Legacy Foundation Board voted to fund construction of the 12-foot wide, 13.36 mile asphalt trail that would connect communities across the county from Forrest Hunt School to Gilkey.  The grant also includes funding for up to six potential trailheads to provide parking and other amenities at access points for the trail. The grant request was approved for $4,250,000.  Dr. Bobby England, Chairman of RHI Legacy Foundation stated, “The construction of this trail represents a transformational project for the county that combines health and wellness, economic development and neighborhood improvement.  Due to this project's importance, we prioritized it outside of the Foundation’s normal grant cycle.”
In 2016, the Town of Forest City received a $149,000 grant from RHI Legacy Foundation to survey and engineer the trail.  Forest City applied on behalf of Rutherford County, Ruth, Rutherfordton, Spindale as well as itself.  In addition, Forest City received an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for trailhead design and master planning.  McGill and Associates and David Odom Engineering are providing the trail design and engineering.  Keith Webb from McGill and David Odom made the presentation to the RHI Foundation Board. Keith Webb said, “David and I have both worked in the county over 20 years.  By far, this project reflects the highest level of intergovernmental cooperation and common purpose that we have ever seen.”

The RHI Foundation’s grant will provide the funds to pave the trail, but the amenities along the trail will be each local governments’ responsibility.  As an example, the Forest City recently applied for a state PARTF grant that would provide fitness equipment, a picnic facility, and other recreational opportunities.
The engineering for the entire 13.36-mile trail will be complete by August 1.  After August 1, the McGill and Odom firms will focus on road encroachment agreements with NCDOT, an overpass agreement with CSX and erosion control plans for the entire corridor.  The construction project will be put out for bid by November with bids awarded by January 2018. Construction could start by March with an anticipated nine-month construction schedule.  Assuming the proposed schedule is met the trail would be complete by the end of 2018.

RHI Legacy Foundation is a grantmaking organization that has a broad mission to make Rutherford County healthier. The Foundation invests in projects that address healthy eating and active living because of the impact of healthier lifestyle choices on decreasing the incidence of disease.  
Jill Miracle, RHI Legacy Foundation’s Community Impact Director explained, “Trail development is a priority for us because free and convenient access for individuals and families to be outdoors will make an impact on how healthy Rutherford County residents can be. We look forward to the day when local adults practice healthy behaviors and pass those habits down to the next generations. Trail development and recreation is a big piece of our active living strategy, and we are pleased to be a part of this important Rail Trail project.” 

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2017
Contact: Jill W. Miracle, Community Impact Director  828-202-4630
June Board of Directors Meeting

The IPDC Board of Directors held its scheduled June meeting on June 13th at the LeGrand Center in Shelby, NC.  The Board conducted a business meeting to cover several actions during this meeting to include adoption of the FY 17-18 Budget for IPDC; Approval of the Impediments to Fair Housing Report; An addition to the Section 8 Housing Administrative Plan to be in compliance with eligibility standards for transfer by clients of the Section 8 Housing program based upon the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2013; Amended the current Fiscal Year (FY16-17) Budget to account for several grants received in the Workforce Development Division; and the FY 17-18 IPDC Meeting Schedule.  The full agenda of the Board Meeting can be found at: 

The Workforce Development Board presented the evening’s program.  Featured speakers included an overview of the Workforce Program (See: administered here at IPDC by Director Steve Lockett.  Mr. Lockett also talked about the statistics regarding where we work here our region. 

Mr. Lockett introduced Ken Mooney of Cleveland Community College and How the Community College System Prepares the Workforce in Region C.  Next, Jerry Broome, Business Service Rep,  Region C Workforce Development Board, Marion, NC on the McDowell Pipeline Program. And lastly, Lisa Garland, Human Resource Director for Everest Textiles, Rutherford, on working with the NC Works, Region C Workforce Board and ICC to develop a pipeline of employees for a start up
The Executive Board of IPDC wishes to thank to the folks with Cleveland County Government and Cleveland Community College, for making such a wonderful venue available for our meeting.  The LeGrand Center is beautiful addition to Cleveland County and a real showcase here in our region.  The next IPDC Board meeting will be held on September 12, 2017 and will be hosted by McDowell County and the City of Marion. 



Board of Directors Meeting Schedule


Fiscal Year 2018



September 12, 2017

 November 14, 2017
January 9, 2018
 March 13, 2018
 (6:00 Nominating Committee meeting)
 June 12, 2018
Regular Board meetings begin at 6:30PM. Location to be determined.
Executive Committee meetings scheduled as needed.
Specifics from the FY 17-18 Budget

We are going to highlight programmatic parts of the IPDC Budget in the next couple of newsletters.  This week we offer up some budget and program details on the Rural Planning Organization which is the Transportation Planning Program in Polk, Rutherford and McDowell County's.  The IPDC staffs and serves as the administrative arm of this program.  The staff person responsible for this program is Karyl Fuller.  The web site for this program can be found at:

Here are the budget highlights for the RPO :

Rural Planning Organization (Transportation)
The Isothermal Rural Planning Organization (RPO) was formed by McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford Counties and municipalities therein in response to enabling State legislation to provide a local and regional transportation planning and advocacy role in the State’s transportation planning process.  The Isothermal RPO elected to contract with IPDC for staffing and fiscal support.  Cleveland County is a member of the Gastonia Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). 
The anticipated FY 17-18 RPO funding from NCDOT is $ 106,375.  The local matching share is expected to rise to meet this match to $26,594, paid by the benefiting members of the RPO.  The RPO will also manage the development of a regional bike plan.  The RPO continues to manage a $150,000 grant to cover this planning process.
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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission
111 West Court Street Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 287-2281
Fax: (828) 287-2735

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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission · 111 West Court Street · Post Office Box 841 · Rutherfordton, NC 28139 · USA

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