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Thomas Russell

N.C. House proposes additional $200,000 for High Point Market

A proposed North Carolina House budget would provide an additional $200,000 in state funding for the High Point Market Authority, compared with the figure in the budget passed by the state Senate last month, Market Authority officials said Friday.

The House version would boost the total market funding to $1.855 million, including $1.2 million for transportation and $655,000 for marketing. The Market Authority initially asked for $2 million, and the Senate provided $1.635 million.

The House proposal should go before an appropriations committee next week, said Doug Bassett, volunteer chairman of the Market Authority. He said a vote by the full House is expected sometime over the next two weeks.

"We greatly appreciate the way that the N.C. House found a compromise amount to provide the High Point Market Authority," Bassett said in a statement. "We believe this offers a fair deal to both the state and the High Point Market."

Both the House and Senate budgets require the Market Authority to provide an office for a local economic development official who works with the N.C. Department of Commerce. Bassett said officials welcome this requirement, saying it will foster better communication and closer cooperation between the organizations.

"We believe that the Market Authority provides a template for the type of public-private partnership that (North Carolina) Gov. Pat McCrory is proposing in his reorganized Department of Commerce," Bassett said, adding that there will be some one-time costs associated with creating an office for the state official. "Placing a Commerce Department official in our Market Authority office will help foster the type of cooperation and coordination between the public and private sectors that the governor envisions."

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