GARYSBURG, N.C. – Roy Bell has been mayor of this Northampton County town for 26 years. With a population of about 1,000 and dwindling resources, Garysburg was counting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to bring economic development and revenue to Bell’s quiet community.
The current work stoppage has put jobs, businesses and communities on the line.
Roy Bell sat down to talk about what the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could do for his citizens.
Q: What would a project like the ACP mean to you and your community?
A: The pipeline brings the revenue that we need to fund things [like a community school, which Garysburg had to shut down several years ago]. We can’t get those things done through taxing people—you have to get those things done through bringing in industry, bringing in businesses that you can get revenue from.
If I had to use the taxes that I collect from the citizens, it would only take care of about a third of my budget. So I have to look for two-thirds of my budget in other places—projects like the ACP.
Q: Why is new development so important to Garysburg and to Northampton County?
A: Most of the industries and jobs and things that come into North Carolina go west. But we have things the west does not have, which is land.
We have to have those types of resources that industry is looking for, one of them being natural gas.
Q: Why do you believe work should resume on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline?
A: Bear in mind, when you stop that type of process, you’re hurting people. Let’s do things that are in line with putting people to work so they can take care of their families.
That’s what this is all about. Bringing jobs to our community so people can take care of their families.