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IDA takes next steps with site improvements

SoVaNow.com / April 28, 2014
The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority continues to carry out its building and rebranding strategy to spur new job creation — and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, mostly in outside grant funding, to make it happen.

IDA directors on Friday approved several financial transactions, including a bid award to the J.E. Burton Company for the remainder of the Phase II Rehabilitation work at the SVAMC, or Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center (the former Daystrom plant).

The Burton Company’s bid of $688,567 was the lowest of the two bids offered. The money to fund the project, $689,000, comes from a Virginia Tobacco Commission grant.

Also on Friday morning, board members approved a $427,500 grant agreement with the U.S. Community Adjustment and Improvement program, which is administered by the Small Business Administration in communities that have suffered job losses due to the NAFTA trade agreement.

The grant money will be used as the local match for a separate Tobacco Commission grant of $1.14 million for the Phase III rehabilitation of the SVAMC. The money will be spent to bring natural gas to the site, as well as make other infrastructure improvements.

IDA Chairman John Cannon said adding abundant natural gas to the site would be “a big economic development tool for the growth of industry as well as for residential growth.”

In other action, IDA directors approved a lease with Aquatic for the former Medical Textiles building located at 1201 Industrial Park Drive. The lease calls for some 8,900 square feet of space to be leased to the company for temporary warehousing at the rate of $1,854 per month.

IDA Executive Director Matt Leonard also advised that Dominion Power has estimated it will cost about $170,000 to design an additional permanent power source for the Riverstone Technology Park, which has been rebranded the Southern Virginia Technology Park. The new power line, running from the west, would give the park redundant electricity, required for the recruitment of data centers to the technology park.

Leonard said the project would require no additional construction or acquisition of land or right-of-way.

Also, Leonard was authorized to negotiate a contract not to exceed $10,000 for modifying the existing sign at Riverstone to reflect the new name, Southern Virginia Technology Park

Leonard said he has received three bids on the sign and has the money on hand to pay for the changes from an existing Tobacco Commission grant.

“It is not going to be a new sign,” said IDA director Ted Bennett, “but rather a modification of the old one.”

Also during the Friday meeting, Dr. Doug Corrigan with the C-CARE Center said he is continuing to work with universities and large coating companies on their research and development needs, hoping to attract them as full-time partners.

Kristy Johnson, manager of marketing and business development, reported that she will be presenting the IDA’s new branding and marketing plan to members of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership on May 5.

The Finance Committee will prepare a draft budget for consideration by the board during the May meeting, Leonard said.

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