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Middlesex sees big growth in 2019

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MIDDLESEX — The town experienced unprecedented growth with several news businesses planned or opening in 2019.

Mayor Lu Harvey Lewis said in November that Middlesex is on the cusp of major growth.

“They’ve built 70 houses in 70 months,” Lewis said. “They’re building houses as fast as they can on half-acre lots. We have a spec building in the corporate park that will mean 50 to 60 jobs paying an average salary of $50,000. That’s a lot in our corner of the county.”

The first new commercial construction since Dollar General opened in 2008, Premiere Propane and Hardware has passed zoning and is waiting for permits.

The store is set for West Finch Avenue, across from the Pit Stop gas station.

Premiere co-owner Zack Stallings said he plans to have the store built and stocked in January.

Stallings said he’s a lifelong resident of Middlesex and understands how important new construction is to the town.

The hardware store joins Lane and Associates, which contracted with the town to occupy the empty dentist office at 11180 E. Finch St.

Lane runs the largest dentist office chain in the state with 40 offices across North Carolina, mostly in small towns.

Lane will pay $4,025 a month for 10 years with an option to purchase the property after that. As part of the deal that will see renovation paid for by the town and state, Lane has agreed to create a dozen jobs over the next three years.

Accepting Medicaid and insurance, the general practice dentist will provide access to visiting specialists.

Also moving into town were a pet grooming shop and a popular auto shop.

Located at 11513 W. Finch Ave., Bow Wowza Boutique is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Bow Wowza offers pet owners an all-inclusive grooming experience including a bath, nail trim, ear cleaning, deshedding and haircuts.

All-Star Auto & Tire is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

In August, Police Chief Mike Collins hosted Middlesex’s first-ever National Night Out. The annual community-building campaign “promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work” according to the NNO website.

The town’s three incumbents won reelection to the Board of Commissioners in November.

Commissioners Cherrye High Davis, Danny Alford and J.W. McClenny defeated newcomers William Ward and Brenda West.

Property taxes remained unchanged for town residents during the changeover from the 2018-19 fiscal year to 2019-20; however, residents incurred an additional $1.75 sanitation fee per customer.