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re Imagine Polk newsletter

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Chairman’s Message 


Polk County unemployment continues to improve, falling from 4.9% to the lowest yet figure of 4.6% in December. We look forward to even more progress in the coming months.
On March 6, a joint meeting with the Polk County Board of Commissioners, Soil and Water Conservation Board, Farmland Preservation and the Economic and Tourism Development Commission was held in the Columbus Town Hall. The consultant contracted by the Commissioners took comments on his Polk County Economic Development Policy and Strategic Plan draft. We expect the final plan to include our suggestions.
The actual operational details of the plan will be in the Implementation Plan which will be prepared by the Directors of Economic and Tourism Development and Agriculture Development.

Ambrose Mills

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PANGAEA Internet Launches Wi-Fi Trial in Downtown Tryon

 Paneaea, the leading commercial provider of high-speed fiber optic internet service for Polk and Rutherford Counties, has launched a trial Wi-Fi service in downtown Tryon. The trial period will extend through the end of 2014 and is intended to evaluate Wi-Fi technology, determine coverage areas, and gauge consumer demand.

Dual band wireless access points in storefronts and on rooftops provide the Wi-Fi service, which is aimed at visitors to downtown Tryon, area residents and small downtown-based businesses with basic internet needs. Mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, as well as personal computers with Wi-Fi capability can access the service.

Wi-Fi coverage is offered between Tryon Town Hall/Rogers Park and the PANGAEA office near Side Street Pizza. The Wi-Fi connections are:


The FREE offering is a low bandwidth, no-cost service, providing the ability to check emails and browse the Internet.

re Imagine
 The Town of Tryon’s Ransom Morris Project has won top honors in the category of Promotion, receiving NC Commerce’s Small Town Main Street Award of Merit. The N.C. Small Town Main Street Awards competition recognizes the outstanding achievements of participating communities in organization, design, economic restructuring and promotion, the four key areas of the downtown revitalization program’s emphasis. Entries were judged by a panel that included N.C. Main Street Center staff and Main Street managers. Following the judging, Office of Urban Development Director Liz Parham remarked, “North Carolina Main Street and Small Town Main Street Awards represent some of the very best revitalization work taking place in our state. Whether it’s a streetscape project that makes the central business district more walkable and attractive, a building rehabilitation that provides space for exciting new businesses, a special event that builds on the heritage of the community or one of many other exemplary projects that contributes to the vitality of Main Street downtowns, these award-winners are outstanding examples of partnerships, innovation, quality, and sustainability and serve as models for other small towns and cities throughout North Carolina.” Parham and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr. Pat Mitchell will present the Small Town Main Street Awards during the North Carolina Main Street Annual Conference in New Bern on Tuesday, April 1st. Crys Armbrust will accept the award on behalf of the Town of Tryon, the Ransom Morris Project and the many citizens who generously participated in the project.

image industrial training re Imagine

The Polk County Film Initiative, formed by Lavin Cuddihee, Beau Menetre, Kirk Gollwitzer with the assistance of Crys Armbrust, is a newly formed organization seeking economic sustainability specifically aimed at bringing film production entities to Polk County. Working with Advantage West and the Western North Carolina Film Commission, the goal is to create a “camera ready” environment in Polk County. Not only will production companies be able to easily coordinate their efforts to film here, but the workings of the PCFI is designed to seek out and solicit film productions to take part in an active and receptive cinematic environment. In part this will constitute a cooperative of commerce, residential participation, target location development and an interactive populace that will benefit both from incoming dollars and the eventual coordination of presenting a developed internal workforce consisting of film / videographers, actors and production assistants to name a few.

Alvin Pack

re Imagine Sustainable

 Columbus builder Katherine Pfaff brings eco-sustainable homes to the foothills. The company, TekkHaus, boasts a better way to build with quality components and engineering resulting in buildings that are healthy, green, energy efficient and strong. TekkHaus specializes in custom, “stick built in a factory” framing, to meet and exceed many world standards. In the panelization process, the envelope of the house is prebuilt in flat panels and shipped to the building site. Any plan for a new wood framed house can be panelized by TekkHaus engineers. The company builds houses to any specification, including all levels of LEED houses. TekkHaus recycles most excess construction materials into additional building products. Because the company has economies of scale in purchasing and almost no waste, TekkHaus homes are higher quality and competitive in price. TekkHaus warranties their work and the factory boasts a 100% on-time, on-budget delivery record with 22,000 delivered structures. 


Alvin Pack

Photo credit: Shelley Dayton

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The Polk County Economic and Tourism Development Commission meets at the First Peak Center, corner of Mills and Walker Streets in Columbus on the last Wednesday of each month.  Meetings are open and citizens are invited to attend. 

ETDC Board 

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Polk County
is Thriving
Business is good pin
New Businesses for 
December  2013
Betty Hill, Massage Therapist, LLC
Bain core Therapy LLC
Hulinndalur LLC
Meadow Breeze NC LLC
My Land III  LLC
Rap Development LLC
Tryon Back Door Distillery LLC
T & A Timber and Trucking
ACAR Leasing
Crocked Creek Farm
Cornerstone Res.Mortgage
Total new businesses for 2013:    160

Our next 
ETDC Meeting is 
First Peak Visitor Ctr
 in Columbus 
June 11, 2014
All meetings are open to the public. 
For more information call 828-894-2895. 

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Visiting horse country?  Our hospitality shines. 

The Numbers
Polk unemployment rate for November  was a new low of 4.9%.  
5% is considered full employment.

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See What All The Excitement is About
Polk County, NC video
Produced by TurnerHDMedia


North Carolina is consistently rated among the best business climates in the nation by Forbes, CNBC, Chief Executive and Site Selection magazines.

Why Polk?

  First Peak mtn

A Quality of Life That Attracts Talent

From our isothermal climate with excellent recreational opportunities to our Appalachian culture, rich history, low crime and a low cost of living, Polk County has what people want.

*Moderate climate *Culture rich in history and the arts 

*Top ranked school district

*Recreational opportunities 

*Quality health care

*Low cost of living-housing, utilities, supplies and groceries, transportation and health care are all below the national average

*Low construction costs 

*Diverse educational opportunities 


Why Polk?

Why not?

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