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Board to consider assist from economic development consulting firm

Sanford-based Hayes Group Consulting firm to give presentation


At the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen’s work session scheduled for Monday, town officials will consider options for strategic action planning to include economic development.

Board members will also hear presentations supporting Earth Day and the Child Advocacy Center.

Aldermen will meet at 6 p.m. in the Grady Howard conference room at the Spring Lake Town Hall. Here’s a look at what’s ahead:

Strategic action planning

The board plans to hear a presentation from Hayes Group Consulting, a firm that “specializes in economic development, leadership advancement and nonprofit management to help communities and organizations tackle complex problems, develop and strengthen partnerships and create meaningful change,” according to their website.

According to their presentation provided in pre-agenda materials, the Sanford-based Hayes firm would build on work done in last year’s strategic goals retreat and create a planning process for economic development in Spring Lake.

Mayor Kia Anthony met leaders from the group through an East Carolina University Economic Development Honors Seminar, a training course hosted last year through the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC).

“We are looking at an economic development strategic planning retreat, but if approved it would not just be for the board,” Anthony said. “This would also be for staff and we would invite the community to come in.”

Anthony said it was her hope that the board would receive training so that they know how to best talk to businesses and that the town would bring back Spring Lake’s economic development advisory board.

She said board members were exploring options for economic development, to “keep the train moving until the town was in a financially stable position to hire permanent economic development staff.”

The town has not had economic development staff or an advisory board since 2021.

The strategic development planning would involve the board, staff and community members. It is not clear what Hayes Group Consulting would charge the town for its services.

Proclamations to be heard

Board members will also hear proclamations regarding the Child Advocacy Center and Earth Day. 

April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month and the town planted Pinwheels for Prevention on Wednesday to help raise awareness about child abuse prevention.

The town will host an Earth Day cleanup with the Spring Lake Appearance and Sustainability Committee on April 20. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and honors those who help protect natural resources for future generations.

The board also plans to adopt a conflict of interest policy in response to the town being awarded $250,000 in state appropriated funds by state Sen. Tom Mcinnis (R-Dist. 21) for a new computer system and related equipment. 

Jami McLaughlin covers Spring Lake for CityView TODAY. She can be reached at jmclaughlin@cityviewnc.com or at 910-391-4870.

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