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Halifax County IDA approves budget for year / May 20, 2013
The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority tentatively approved a $2,579,735 budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1. IDA Executive Director Matt Leonard said the budget, which includes funding from the county, is balanced and it is nearly identical to the budget in the current year.

Leonard suggested that IDA board members may want to visit the properties owned by the Authority in order to get a better feel for what the county has to offer business prospects.

One is the Green View property, (formerly the Daystrom site), which is being rehabilitated in stages, Leonard noted. The Green View site encompasses 34 acres in the Sinai community and has all the amenities necessary for most industries, except for a natural gas line which Leonard said he is working to bring onto the site.

Of the three buildings at Green View, the largest contains 332,000 square feet of space with 85 percent of that designed for lease. The other 15 percent, he said has been earmarked for educational offerings by the Higher Ed Center for business or industry that needs on-site training for its employees.

The two smaller buildings are mainly storage facilities, with the smallest one already under lease by Sunshine Mills.

A draft of a marketing plan will be ready for the Properties Committee to review during their June meeting, Leonard reported.

IDA directors on Friday also approved a recommendation by Leonard to move the election of officers to their July meeting, which will be held at the Clover Power Station. The director pointed out that the Authority’s by-laws call for a June election of officers, but since no meeting date could be scheduled (due to conflicts) the election should be moved to the July session.

Leonard also reported back on conversations with South Boston IDA’s Ted Daniel about doing an appraisal to determine the potential value of timber on 200-plus acres of land which are located along the banks of the Dan River. The property is jointly owned by the Halifax County and South Boston IDAs.

Leonard said Daniel indicated there would likely be no profit from the selected cutting of the trees there, and it would also be likely to raise environmental concerns since some of the property lies within the flood zone.

Board member Chris Lumsden shared with his fellow board members some comments made at the recent meeting of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. He said Halifax County is considered “a premier community” among rural counties for its efforts to attract new business or industry. Lumsden said many areas have done little — they don’t have economic development committees or IDAs — to prepare for prospects, but Halifax County is known for its efforts in having land, labor and quality of life amenities to attract new business, he said.

“You gotta be in the game to win,” Lumsden pointed out, “and we’re doing multiple things to prepare in many areas.”

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