WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Officials: Le Bleu will not expand in Wilson

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Le Bleu officials are remaining mum on preliminary reports that the more than $1 million expansion planned for their distribution site in Wilson has gotten the ax.

“It’s unfortunate Le Bleu will not proceed with the Wilson expansion,” said Wilson spokeswoman Rebecca Agner. “Safety is always the most important component of our construction review and inspection process.”

Wilson Economic Development Executive Director Jennifer Lantz said Le Bleu reportedly could get approval for the expansion in Fayetteville without any engineered drawings.

“Our inspectors went out to meet with them multiple times with a (Wilson Economic Development Council) rep as well,” Lantz said. “In fairness to our inspectors, they tried very hard to make the project work, but could not without the drawings.”

The Advance-based company has a distribution site at 3010 Meteor Drive, but had planned to expand to bottle water in Wilson as well.

“The building Le Bleu selected required upfits for use as a manufactured facility,” Agner said. “In these cases, engineered drawings must be provided per state building code.”

In anticipation of the project and the 11 jobs with an average wage of $15 an hour, the city and the county both pledged $3,500 each for three years for a combined $21,000 incentive package.

Le Bleu President and CEO Jerry Smith did not return repeated requests for comment on the project.

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