NC Commerce team studying Hoffman’s business potential

By: By Christine Carroll - Staff Writer

HOFFMAN — Town officials and interested residents will meet today with a rural planning team from the N.C. Department of Commerce to determine whether and how Hoffman wants to welcome more business.

The meetings will begin with introductions at 8:30 a.m., at the town recreation center, 106 Thompson St. The day will include exercises designed to assess what the town has to offer local business, a tour of the area and an examination of issues that might affect development.

Although Mayor Tommy Hart and Mayor Pro Tempore Daniel Kelly have key roles, so, too, do a handful of volunteers who have offered to help the city to decide how to handle its future.

“You represent a unique local viewpoint,” say materials to be used in the workshop process. “You may have a feeling for what types of … strategies may work and what may not.

“You will be asked to provide perspective, insight and feedback on issues, strengths and challenges … You are asked to be a sounding board for the citizens and business persons of the town.”

After a series of exercises and conversations, the Commerce team will draft preliminary recommendations.

On Wednesday morning, the team will present its findings and recommendations to local officials and residents, and identify what steps the town might want to take.

Community economic-development planners Bruce Naegelen of Fayetteville and Jeff Emory of Albemarle of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center, a division of the N.C. Department of Commerce, comprise the team that will help town representatives decide how to lure business and industry, if that is what the town wants.

Hoffman now has two combination service station/convenience stores, one of which is closed. It also has land set aside for a park and a former elementary school serving as a recreation center. By summer’s end, it also should have completed the first phase of a long-awaited sewer system.

Naegelen said last week that he say potential for growth in Hoffman, especially as a result of the new sewer system.

“(That) will bring in more inquiries (from businesses), so they need to be ahead of the curve on this,” he said.

Mayor Tommy Hart said last week that he’d like to see something like a Dollar General come to town.

“A lot of people like it quiet like it is,” he said. But “from what I’ve been hearing from the community, it would be nice to have another store.”

Today’s exercises will determine whether the town could support more business or more residents by asking what it has to offer culturally, architecturally and economically.


By Christine Carroll

Staff Writer