FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. — Some residents in Fuquay-Varina could be lamenting a recent decision made by the town council.
The Carolina Trucking Academy originally had plans to be located in Fuquay-Varina, but town leaders voted against it. The school later ended up in Raleigh.
Charlie Gray, the owner of the trucking academy, said he currently has 40 students in training. Plus, the academy is spending $2,000 a week just filling up with gas in Raleigh.
"Each one of those students is in a hotel room. Each one of those students is training in a truck that's burning gas," he said.
"The question is the particular location. It's not so much wanting to attract business or industry," Fuquay-Varina Mayor John Byrne said.
Byrne said the abandoned Golden Corral on Main Street was not a good fit, and that economic development is on point.
"I'm not sure you've done your research, you may have, but our tax base is close to 50/50 residential and commercial," he said.
However, when it comes to new construction, WRAL found Fuquay-Varina issued 25 commercial permits totaling about $6 million while the town issued more than 600 residential permits totaling nearly $72 million.
Still, Byrne said the town is making progress with its downtown revitalization.
"It's very obvious that Fuquay-Varina is expanding, it is growing and it is changing," he said.
Byrne said it would have been ideal to find a location in Fuquay-Varina for the academy. The academy owner said he got no support to that end.