"there is no way this county can compete on a level playing field. We are kidding ourselves to think otherwise. "
Without the proper infrastructure, there is no way this county can compete on a level playing field with other counties, states and countries that are vying for good paying jobs. We are kidding ourselves to think otherwise. High speed broadband, natural gas and water and sewer are the lifeblood of developing and succeeding in any economic development. At present, state laws severely restrict what counties and municipalities can do in the development of high speed internet services. These services are not considered utilities like sewer and water so it is important that we educate our state legislators to change this law. Until then, it is possible to partner with private entities to provide this service which is something that should be explored. Right now, Haywood County does not have a co-location facility for the internet, while just about every municipality in the far western counties, as well as Buncombe and Henderson do. This is something we could address in the short term as well as partnering with a private entity to at least bring high speed internet and water and sewer to identified industrial sites. Last, we must encourage and help provide infrastructure for adequate housing. To sustain economic development there must be housing for young couples and families to rent or buy.
"This is the spirit that we have to embrace in Haywood County. In some ways, we are behind and we have a lot of work to do to catch up. It will not be easy. But, if we really want to move this county forward and make it all it can be, we have to come together and work so that our children and grandchildren can not only be born here, but live and work here."
Danny Davis for Commissioner