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Money flows for economic development priority list

South Boston News / January 15, 2014
Mecklenburg County was a major recipient of economic development funding awarded last week by the Virginia Tobacco Commission. Meeting in Richmond, Tobacco Commission members doled out grants totaling $2.3 million to five projects in Mecklenburg County.

The projects are:

MeadowView Terrace nursing home in Clarksville, which received $358,000 for the construction of a new 18-bed household and therapy gym. Once complete, the 11,205 square foot housing addition will include 18 single-bed rooms, a kitchen/dining room space, laundry facility and community living space outside courtyards with a covered patio, and an additional 2,986 square foot physical therapy gym.

The expansion will create 20 new jobs. Overall capital investment is projected at $4,350,000. Meadowview Terrace is owned by Halifax Regional Health System, an affiliate of Norfolk-based Sentara Healthcare.

“XYZ” Corporation received an additional $596,388 to encourage its expansion in the county. State Sen. Frank Ruff of Clarksville, who serves as vice chairman of the Tobacco Commission, said he could not confirm the actual name of the corporation, but noted, “This award [the second in two years] is going to a company with a history of expansion in the area, both of its physical plant and in the number of jobs created.” In last year’s grant funding round, XYZ Corporation was identified as Microsoft.

Mecklenburg County received $1.2 million to construct a 50,000 square foot shell building at the Roanoke River Regional Business Park near Brodnax. There are only three such government-owned buildings in Virginia, and they are used as a draw for companies looking to re-locate, according to Economic Development Director Angie Kellett. Mecklenburg County, said Kellett, “will use this building to hopefully attract a distribution or advanced manufacturing business.” It is hoped the project will attract 50 to 150 new jobs.

Both Mecklenburg County and South Hill received funding for industrial site readiness initiative. The county received $74,844 and the town received a separate award of $59,251.

The money will be used to ensure that local industrial sites are “Tier IV ready, which means they have all their permits, such as environmental studies, in place,” said County Administrator Wayne Carter.

In all, the Tobacco Commission awarded $5.4 million for 13 projects in eight counties across Southside Virginia. Nearby Halifax County had two projects funded: $435,000 for the 36-bed expansion of Woodview Terrace — a project similar to the Meadowview Terrace expansion — and $1.14 million for Phase III of the County IDA’s rehabilitation and reuse of the Green View Advanced Manufacturing Center, formerly the location of Daystrom Furniture.

The Charlotte County IDA received $500,000 to build a 10,000-square foot regional food-processing facility at its Heartland Industrial Park on U.S. 360.

The plant will be used by the Virginia Aquaculture Network, whose producers raise channel catfish, rainbow trout, hybrid striped bass and freshwater shrimp (prawns) that are sold under the Virginia Natural Fish Company brand.

Other awards included $500,000 to the Town of Rocky Mount for the construction of a harvester performance center, $68,584 to Greensville County for a well integration project, $45,000 to Lunenburg County for a plumbing project, $335,000 to the Town of Gretna in Pittsylvania County for the completion of a gravity sewer project in its industrial park, and $77,785 to Prince Edward County for construction of a tourist center for the Robert Russa Moton Museum Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail.

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