DCC Applies For A $1.5 Million Grant From The Economic Development Administration To Be Used For Construction Of The Earl Scruggs Center
The minutes from the county commissioners’ meeting on February 2, 2010, tell that DCC has applied for a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to be used for the construction of the Earl Scruggs Center.
Because the county owns the courthouse building, Cleveland County is required to be a co-applicant. If awarded, the EDA required the county’s name to be put as a first lien holder on the property. County Attorney Bob Yelton explained that this is not legally allowed under NC General Statutes. In place of the lien, Attorney is recommending that the Commissioners approve a covenant of purpose, use, and ownership document. This document states that the property could only be used for the purpose for which the grant is applied without prior permission from the EDA.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the application from Destination Cleveland County and Cleveland County for the EDA Federal Assistance Award and moved that the Chairwoman and Clerk be authorized and directed to execute, on behalf of Cleveland County, any and all documents necessary to complete said application.
Gardner-Webb University Godbold School of Business Revisits The Projected Impact of DCC’s Projects On The Economy Of Cleveland County
In an article in The Star dated February 9, 2010, Thomas J. Meaders, Ph.D. of the Gardner-Webb University Godbold School of Business said he was asked to revisit the feasibility analysis that he performed two years ago for DCC for the Gibson Theatre and Scruggs Museum, in light of the changed economic environment.
He found that the projected impact has declined by approximately 12% over the ten-year period, based on assuming a slow economic recovery in 2011.
But the projects are forecasted to remain viable and have a positive impact of almost $180 million in total economic activity over the first 10 years of operations and produce from 200-250 additional jobs within Cleveland County.
It is worth noting that Ralph “Scoot Dixon, Jr. is Senior Vice President of Community Relations at Gardner-Webb University and he is head of the Godbold School of Business. His wife, Myra Dixon has been a member of Destination Cleveland County’s Board of Directors since 2007.
J.T. Scruggs, co-chairman of DCC’s capital campaign and the Earl Scruggs Center, quoted these figures the next month in an article in The Star on March 21, 2010, where DCC is inviting the public to attend a presentation of the work to date on Phase I Exhibit Design for the Earl Scruggs Center.
J.T. Scruggs said, “Once completed, in hopefully late 2011, the Center along with DCC’s other successful project, the Don Gibson Theatre, is projected to bring an economic impact to our county of over $180 million over a 10-year period- that’s $18 million a year to our county’s bottom line, and that’s significant.”
DCC Lands $1.5 Million Federal Grant From The United States Department Of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration For The Earl Scruggs Center
An April 8, 2010 article in The Star tells that DCC gets $1,543,000.00 from an Economic Development Administration grant for the Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories of the Carolina Foothills.
DCC Executive Director Emily Epley said, “We are so appreciative that the EDA has recognized the Earl Scruggs Center as a development project for our economically distressed county and region… And now, construction on the center could start sooner than later thanks to the cash.”
However, construction does not start for another year, until March 2011. Where did this more than $1 million sit for a year?
Destination Cleveland County Board of Directors July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011
Brownie Plaster, Chairwoman Adelaide Craver, Vice Chair John Schweppe, III, Secretary Robin Smith, Treasurer Emily Epley, DCC Executive Director Myra Dixon
Stan Anthony (Shelby City Council Member) Linda Horn
Stan Lowery, Don Gibson Theatre Executive Director
Civitas Names The Golden LEAF Grant For The Earl Scruggs Center On Their Top Ten List Of Wasteful Golden LEAF Projects.
July 16, 2010, Civitas lists The Earl Scruggs Center grant to DCC as number five on their top ten list of most wasteful Golden LEAF projects. They say 5. Banjo Boondoggle, a $250,000 grant in 2008 was awarded by Golden LEAF to help finance the construction of a “performance space inside the historic Cleveland County courthouse.”
The renovated courthouse is intended to “serve as a destination hub for travelers to experience the connection between music and the traditions of the Carolina Foothills.” The courthouse will also house the Earl Scruggs Center, featuring “permanent interactive exhibits highlighting Earl Scruggs’ contribution to music.”
DCC Hosts Open House For The Historic Artifacts And For The Don Gibson Theatre
On Saturday, August 7, 2010, the public is invited to view the Don Gibson Theater and to see the historical artifacts from the Cleveland County Historical Museum that are located at a storage facility at the old Hunter School.
Attendants were given a sheet of paper at the storage facility telling that DCC was born out of a 2006 Task Force led by a professor from NC State to determine the best use of the contents from the Historical Museum. Through extensive research, DCC determined the Scruggs Center would be the most viable way to tell of the community while bringing economic impact to the community.
DCC says the renovation of the interior of the courthouse building is to begin in late fall of 2012 and the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories Of The Carolina Foothills is scheduled to open late in 2011.
At the September 14, 2010, County Commissioners Meeting, J.T. Scruggs gave an update on the Earl Scruggs Center. He said the engineering design is scheduled to be completed at the end of September. They are expecting to bid on the project at the end of October with construction beginning in November.
Earl Scruggs Is Hospitalized
On September 17, 2010, Earl Scruggs was hospitalized after he fell ill upon arrival for a concert at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. J.T. Scruggs told The Star, “I heard they put him in the hospital overnight to check him out.”
The Wastebook Lists EDA Grant For The Earl Scruggs Center As No. 69 Out Of 100 Worst Wastes Of Government Grant Money in 2010 states:
The article in December 2010, from The Wastebook, titled ‘Banjo Player Honored in Museum’ [Shelby, NC] states:
$1.5 Million taxpayers may not quite get the twang for their buck from this project.
A North Carolina county hopes a $1.5 million federal grant for a museum honoring a local bluegrass singer will provide an economic boost. The Earl Scruggs Center, which is not expected to open until the end of 2011 will contain exhibits paying tribute to the well-known musician.
Scruggs changed the way people looked at the banjo as an instrument, remarked Destination Cleveland County Executive Director. The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded the grant on April 7, 2010.
Earl Scruggs And His Sons Return To Cleveland County For An Earl Scruggs Family Reunion: Music and Stories Concertt.
Earl Scruggs returns to Cleveland County for a third concert to benefit DCC.
On December 3, 2010, he and with sons, Gary and Randy performed and told stories at a sold-out performance at the Don Gibson Theatre.
The concert was held in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music which is being held at the Don Gibson Theatre.
Renovation Of The Courthouse Begins
On March 28, 2011, T. C. Strickland Construction Company entered into a contract with Destination Cleveland County for the renovation of the Courthouse. It is now three years since the County Commissioners signed the Lease Agreement with DCC requiring that they begin renovation within 12 months.
According to City of Shelby records- Earl Scruggs Center file #9929, on March 31, 2011, T. C. Strickland Construction Company called for the first inspection of the Historic Courthouse in preparation for the renovation of the building.
On Thursday, May 5, 2011, DCC hosted a celebration called “Music, Memories, and More” at the Historic Courthouse at 5 p.m. The event marked the start of renovations for the Earl Scruggs Center. The center is scheduled to open in 2012.
Destination Cleveland County Board of Directors July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012
Brownie Plaster, Chairwoman Adelaide Craver, Vice Chair John Schweppe, III, Secretary Robin Smith, Treasurer Stan Lowery, Don Gibson Theatre Executive Director Myra Dixon
Stan Anthony (Shelby City Council member, elected Mayor Oct. 2011) Linda Horn
When Will The Earl Scruggs Center Open?
An article in The Star on January 29, 2012, reported that DCC officials are in the midst of renovations, including installing an elevator and restoring the courtroom ceiling. DCC Board member J.T. Scruggs said, “We’re hoping to open in 2012, but I can’t guarantee that.”
The museum is now being called the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories From the American South.
Earl Scruggs Dies
On March 28, 2012, Earl Eugene Scruggs died in Nashville Baptist Hospital. Nearly 2,300 people including musicians, family, friends, and fans gathered at his public funeral held Sunday, April 1, 2012, at the Ryman Auditorium.
Private burial was at Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee. He was 88. Memorials are to be made to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, or The Earl Scruggs Center c/o Destination Cleveland County in Shelby, N.C.
In an article in The Star, on March 29, 2012, J.T. Scruggs, Earl Scruggs’ nephew, said one of his greatest regrets was that the Earl Scruggs Center, which is scheduled to open in the upcoming months, was not finished in time for its namesake to see.
“He was really thrilled about that,” J. T. Scruggs said of the music and historical museum which will house music and stories from the Carolina foothills.
Renovation Of The Courthouse Is Complete
On April 12, 2012, the City of Shelby Building Inspector’s office- Earl Scruggs Center file #9929- T. C. Strickland Construction Company calls for final inspection of the Historic Courthouse as the renovation of the building for the Earl Scruggs Center is complete.
On May 16, 2012, the Cleveland County government paid the last payment to T. C. Strickland Construction Company for the renovation of the Historic Courthouse.
Total amount Cleveland County government paid to T. C. Strickland Construction from May 11, 2011, to May 16, 2012: $1,989.866.00.
Cleveland County committed $1.5 Million for the interior renovation of the Historic Courthouse. They gave the money to DCC in six (6) payments:
July 9, 2008 Check # 159310 $250,000 First of Six annual payments from county to DCC for the interior renovation of the courthouse.
June 26, 2009 Check # 173793 $250,000 Second of Six annual payments from county to DCC for the interior renovation of Courthouse.
June 2, 2010 Check # 188067 $250,000 Third of Six annual payments of the county to DCC for the interior renovation of the Courthouse.
October 20, 2010 Check # 193680 $250,000 Fourth of Six annual payments of the county to DCC for the interior renovation of the Courthouse.
August 17, 2011 Check # 205363 $250,000 Fifth of Six annual payments of the county to DCC for the interior renovation of the Courthouse.
August 22, 2012 Check #218707 $250,000 Sixth of Six annual payments of the county to DCC for the interior renovation of courthouse
(Please note that DCC received six annual payments in 4 years and one month, not in 6 fiscal years, but 5.)
The Cleveland County government paid $1,500,000.00 to DCC, plus the Cleveland County government paid $1,989.866.00 to T. C. Strickland Construction Company for interior renovation.
The Cleveland County government also paid $14,550.00 on September 9, 2010, for asbestos removal.
Total Cleveland County government paid to renovate Historic Courthouse: $3,504,416.00
Cleveland County government received back from DCC: a $250,000.00 Golden LEAF Grant
Cleveland County government received back from DCC for the EDA Grant: August 13, 2011 DCC pays county R# 98033 Ref. 1 EDA grant $267,800.00
January 18, 2012 DCC pays county R#9942 Ref. 2 EDA grant $436,138.00
April 5, 2012 DCC pays county R#101066 Ref. 3 EDA grant $310,841.00
Total Cleveland County government received back from DCC to date from EDA grant: $1,014,779.00.
Total Cleveland County government received back from DCC: $1,264,779.00.
Total awarded of EDA grant: $1,543,000.00.
A balance of $528,221.00 is to be paid to DCC by EDA when the Earl Scruggs Center is open. This money should come back to Cleveland County against the T. C. Strickland Construction Company bills.
Destination Cleveland County owes the Cleveland County government $739,637.00 against these renovations.