Locust company gets $90k from NC Rural Infrastructure Authority

Flextrol has been awarded a grant supporting a building expansion

LOCUST — Last week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced that a business in Locust was one of eight recipients statewide to receive a grant from the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA).

Flextrol, a fabrication company that specializes in jacketed valves, pipe flexible metal hoses and expansion joints, received a $90,000 grant from the RIA to support a 4,000-square-foot expansion of its existing building at 192 Browns Hill Road.

“These funds make strategic investments in our rural communities to help them seize opportunities to prosper,” Cooper said in a Feb. 15 press release from the N.C. Department of Commerce. “We are committed to improving the economy in all parts of our state.”

The eight RIA grants amount to $1.4 million, with commitments from recipients to create 270 new jobs.

With the new funding, from the RIA’s “Existing Business Building Category,” the family-owned metal fabrication company in Locust expects to create 11 new jobs and invest $329,645 in this project.

“Flextrol offers many distinct advantages over other manufacturers of jacket valves, expansion joints and hoses,” the company stated in a promotional advertisement. “First and foremost, the company’s president, Rick Patterson, is a mechanical engineer. His knowledge, expertise and attention to detail is what makes Flextrol an ideal choice to handle custom applications.”

​The manufacturer has been in business since 1982.

“Flextrol’s employees are experienced and fully trained and certified in their areas,” the message continued. “Each product manufactured at Flextrol is carefully checked multiple times and pressure tested before it ships. Flextrol employs only ASME Section IX, Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Certified Welders.”

In terms of official local government designation, the RIA approved grant requests to the Town of Boiling Springs, the City of Lexington (Davidson County), Lenoir County, Swain County, the City of Burlington (Alamance), Stanly County, the Town of Spencer (Rowan), and the City of Thomasville (Davidson).

Along with reviewing and approving funding requests, the RIA creates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team.

“I will forever be proud of the investments we’re making in our state’s rural communities with these grants,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said. “They demonstrate North Carolina’s unwavering dedication to uplifting rural areas, creating opportunity, and building an equitable, sustainable economy.”

With 17 voting members appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House, and Senate President Pro Tem, the RIA members review and approve funding requests from local communities.

Funding typically comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Kenny Flowers.

Grants often support infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.