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State May Divert Flow of Money from Global Transpark to Kinston Sewage Woes

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KINSTON — For years, millions of dollars in North Carolina tax money has funded the Global TransPark in Kinston, with little seen in return to the state's economy. Lawmakers have been considering spending even more, but a pollution problem in Kinston may stop the flow of money from the General Assembly.

Supporters say the Global Transpark will be the next Research Triangle Park, but progress may be slowed down by a dirty problem in Kinston. Because of recent sewage spills, the state won't allow the city to add any new customers to its water system, not even new tenants at the Global Transpark,until it figures out a way to fix its treatment plants.

"We obviously hope that the moratorium on new sewer connections down there is in effect for a very short period of time and everybody, city state and everybody else involved can be happy with the resolution that's reached." said Transpark spokesperson Jim Sughrue.

Lawmakers have to decide how much taxpayer money to spend on the Transpark this year. Governor Hunt wants $5.5 million in spite of Kinston's problems.

"Kinston is like a number of municipalities in North Carolina where the systems are old, they've had problems with it, and i think that's a separate thing," said Rep. Carolyn Russell (R, Wayne County).

"I support Governor Hunt in what he's trying to do in the budget, and I think you'll see us develop this in a few years," said Sen. Ed Warren (D, Pitt County).

Skeptics say the Transpark may never grow, even if the state throws piles of tax dollars into the project, but supporters insist the park will soon be a magnet for international clients in spite of hurdles at home.

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Brian Bowman, Reporter
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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