Under the Dome

October 29, 2013

Rural Center reboots with about $7 million in funding

The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, once a powerhouse grant-making nonprofit, will start a new existence with about $7 million, legislative leaders were told Tuesday. About $4.3 million of that will come from interest and investment income earned on unspent money in a clean water fund.

The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, once a powerhouse grant-making nonprofit, will start a new existence with about $7 million, legislators heard Tuesday.

About $4.3 million of that will come from interest and investment income earned on unspent money in a clean water fund. The fund had earned $8.6 million in interest that the Rural Center and the state will split.

The Rural Center, established in 1987, until recently handed out taxpayer-funded grants for economic development and infrastructure.

The center's funds were cut off this year after an News & Observer report on the center's work and a critical state audit.

The grant-making work is being taken up by the N.C. Department of Commerce.

The Rural Center board is set to agree Wednesday to transfer most of its funds to the Commerce Department. About $24 million in unspent money will go to the state treasury.

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