The 16-county region that backs and funds the Charlotte Regional Partnership could soon be down to 15, as a major county in the group is taking steps to drop out.
Union County commissioners will decide next month whether to suspend their membership in the partnership, which touts “Charlotte USA” and tries to lure companies to relocate to the region. The group represents Mecklenburg County along with 11 nearby counties in North Carolina and four in upstate South Carolina.
Union County economic development officials confirmed the move to the Observer on Tuesday.
“The Monroe-Union County Economic Development Board of Advisors voted unanimously on January 9, 2018, to recommend to the Union County Board of County Commissioners a suspension of our membership in the Charlotte Regional Partnership,” Economic Development Executive Director Chris Platé said in a statement.
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“This recommended action is meant to provide the economic development staff and County leadership the opportunity to determine the value proposition provided by the CRP and investigate alternate ways to generate leads to Union County,” Platé said. He said he and Union County’s manager have met with the partnership to discuss their concerns, but didn’t elaborate on what those include.
Union County is one of the partnership’s largest contributors after Mecklenburg, contributing $66,822.
Charlotte contributes about $152,000 and Mecklenburg County about $155,000 to the partnership, which has an annual budget of about $3.4 million.
The partnership said Tuesday that Union County’s decision isn’t final.
“It’s not a done deal,” partnership spokeswoman Dianne Chase told the Observer. “The vote is set for Feb. 5. We’ll have to just deal with it as it occurs.”
The Charlotte Regional Partnership led the region’s unsuccessful bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, known as HQ2.
The internet giant revealed last week that Charlotte missed the cut for its 20-city shortlist, which included the Raleigh area. Union County’s initial action to suspend its membership took place before the shortlist was made public.
Observer reporter Katherine Peralta contributed