Smithfield Town Council approved development off US 70 W Smithfield backs industrial park | The Johnstonian News (restorationnewsmedia.com) This tract on the west side of Smithfield will become home to an industrial park. By Scott Bolejack firstname.lastname@example.org | 919-424-1776 SMITHFIELD — The Town Council last week cleared the way for an industrial park on the west side of town. Specifically, a unanimous council rezoned 258 acres off of West Market Street for light industrial use. The land, long a farm, sits largely behind the homes along North Rogers, South Rogers and Milton drives. Some 18 months ago, the town and county worked together to have the land state certified for industrial use. Brian Hall of Samet Corp., which will develop the park, said his company’s aim was to bring the county and town’s effort to fruition. “My mission is to take the work that you guys have already done and advance it to where it’s actually being executed in the field to create that industrial park,” said Hall, whose company makes its home in Greensboro. Samet Corp. will do that first by building infrastructure — streets, water and sewer lines, spec buildings, Hall said. Next, the company will recruit tenants — “light manufacturers, distribution companies, folks that want to invest here, build the tax base here, employ folks here,” Hall said, adding that Samet Corp. attracts companies from across the Southeast. “We feel like it’s a good opportunity,” he said. “We feel like it’s a good location. We appreciate the work that you guys have done in advance of us, and we want to try to move this project forward.” Chris Johnson, the county’s industry recruiter, likened the project to a farm operation. “It’s like planting the seeds on a farm,” he said “It takes a few months for things to germinate, and then obviously the crop has to grow, and then it’s time to harvest.” “I think we’re right at the beginning of that harvest season,” Johnson said. “The hard work and the planting of the seeds are hopefully going to be bearing fruit for years to come.” Johnson said Samet Corp. has an excellent reputation in industrial development. “I’m very excited about having the Samet Corp. in Johnston County,” he said. “We’re expecting big things from them.” No one spoke against the rezoning request. But one neighbor, Helen Best of North Rogers Drive, asked for a fix to the drainage problem that dumps water from the farm onto the homes nearby. “I’ve lived there since 1968,” Best said. “There’s always been water coming from that farm onto the properties there. Some of them, when we’re having rains, are underwater.” The standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, Best said. “In summertime, you can’t go outside after 4 o’clock because you get eat up with mosquitoes,” she said. The town’s planning director, Stephen Wiseman, said Smithfield’s land-use rules would require Samet Corp. to present a drainage plan. “Knowing about this drainage problem, we can make sure it’s addressed,” he added.