The General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division revealed its report findings on the Lenior County Global TransPark (GTP) industrial complex today. The report suggested North Carolina has two options – either continue to fund it based on a demonstration of results (whatever that means) or begin incrementally divesting funds from the park.
GTP has received nearly $250 million from local, state, federal and private sources since it began in 1991 but has yet to make a profit or break even since opening its doors 20 years ago. According to report estimates, the state’s investment will not exceed the park’s “value” until at least 2025. Until then, the costs will continue to exceed its benefits and will require additional funding each year just to remain operable.
The report also found that the GTP is unlikely to be self-sufficient, will continue to rely on state appropriations, and lacks a clear measurable results and performance program. In addition, GTP cannot pay its escheat fund debt, forcing the state to absorb these costs.
Currently, the GTP only provides 370 jobs. While some job growth is expected in the next few years, it’s hard to justify this park’s continued state financial support given the exorbitant costs currently being thrown at the program.
Even if North Carolina decides to incrementally divest funds from the GTP, the state will have to continue its partial funding until 2019 due to existing contracts with Spirit AeroSystem and the Federal Aviation Administration.
This seems like a raw deal and money pit for North Carolinians. The sooner we can begin the divestment process, the better!