Local attorney appointed to aid rural development

By: By Gavin Stone - Staff Writer

ROCKINGHAM — Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday the appointment of Ellerbe City Attorney Bill Webb to the Rural Infrastructure Authority.

Webb, an attorney at Kitchin, Neal, Webb, Webb & Futrell who also has served on the state’s Local Government Commission, was appointed as a representative of a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county — meaning one of the top 80 most distressed counties in the state, of which Richmond County is in the top 40. He will serve a three-year term.

In his new role, Webb will be a voting member on the 16-member board that awards Rural, Community Development Block Grant and Utility Account grants that support development in rural areas.

“Growing up in rural North Carolina and especially in rural Richmond County, I think I understand the needs of rural North Carolina quite well,” Webb said. “I’m hoping to use my background to work to provide as much funding and assistance for our needy rural areas and our county as I can.”

Webb is the fourth Richmond County official Cooper had named to a state board. The others are Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump, appointed to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission last year; former Rockingham Mayor and state Sen. Gene McLaurin, appointed to the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina last year; and Sheriff James Clemmons, appointed to the Juvenile Justice Planning Committee in May.

Webb officially was appointed Aug. 24, but the governor’s office made its announcement Wednesday.

Webb said he will remain a practicing attorney but had set a goal to speak with all of the economic developers in his region to establish lines of communication on future projects.

The first project he has targeted for Richmond County is securing a demolition grant for the Tartan boat factory near the entrance to the Marks Creek Industrial Park, which he said had become an eyesore.

By Gavin Stone

Staff Writer

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]

Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]