City Council backs Corning, considers shutting down strip club

City Council backs Corning, considers shutting down strip club
October 06
06:45 2016



The Winston-Salem City Council approved incentives for Corning’s local expansion and discussed a possible way to close a downtown strip club in its Monday, Oct. 3, meeting.

Corning Optical Communications LLC will receive up to $435,300 in economic development assistance in exchange for creating 100 new full-time jobs locally with a average annual wage of $58,000 plus benefits within four years, and invest $30 million in additional machinery and equipment.

Mayor Allen Joines said the project will more than pay for itself, as its expected to bring in$670,000 in tax revenue in the next five years.

Forsyth County has also agreed to an incentive of up to $384,872 for Corning. The state’s Economic Investment Committee approved a grant for up to $1.93 million over 12 years for Corning’s planned expansion in the state, which will also include 105 new jobs at its Hickory plant, where it will invest $53.5 million. The incentives encouraged Corning to expand in North Carolina instead of expanding a facility in Mexico.

“For businesses to grow and for the city to be competitive, we must have incentives,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian Burke.

The plant’s workforce is largely local, with 64 percent living in Forsyth and 47 percent living in Winston-Salem. Charles McManus, Corning human resource manager, said that 47 percent of the workforce is minority and 38 percent is African-American.

“We want to make sure we’re representing our local community,” said McManus.

City Council Member Denise “D.D.” Adams, who used to work at Corning, said the company didn’t mind hiring people like her who don’t have a science degree and training them. She praised the company for giving people opportunities. The measure passed the council unanimously.

The City Council also discussed a measure that would eliminate the longtime downtown strip club on Cherry Street. In 2003, changes were made to Central Business zoning requirements to prohibit adult establishments, but the already existing club was grandfathered in and became legal non-conforming. The club, which has previously been called Harper’s, Winkers and Lollipops, is now known as Xpressions. The city filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit trying to shut the club down because of what the city says is illegal activity happening in and around the club.

A settlement in the case is currently being negotiated, but the measure heard on Monday would let the council shut the club down because the city says it’s no longer compatible with Central Business zoning because of “noise, illegal activity and other breaches of the peace,” and the change in character of downtown, with retail businesses and residential units now nearby.  The club would be allowed to operate during an amortization period until Dec. 31, 2019 to give its owner time to recoup his investment. The City Council decided to hold the measure until its next meeting on Oct. 17.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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