The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority approved the IDA budget for the coming year and ratified a lease agreement for the county’s Iperion X manufacturing plant on Friday.
With an otherwise light agenda for the June monthly meeting, the 2023-24 budget was the prime focus of the board discussion, with members expressing satisfaction at how the agency’s finances are shaping up in the coming fiscal year. The new budget takes effect July 1.
“It is a conservative budget, and I think [the IDA Finance Committee] put a lot of time and energy into [balancing information] from the current years and what we’ll have next year in the forecast,” said IDA treasurer Nancy Pool.
Executive Director Kristy Johnson said the budget has changed little from the current year’s package, which totals $2.3 million, but the IDA is prepared to handle any possible changes that could arise throughout the upcoming year.
On May 11, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office announced the Southside Planning District Commission and its internet partner, EMPOWER Broadband, were awarded $8.5 million to expand its fiber network and services to an additional 4,804 addresses in portions of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax and Mecklenburg counties.
This 2023 Virginia Telecommunications Initiative award represents an additional project cost of $30.23 million and includes matching funds from the counties, Dominion Energy and EMPOWER.
This award supplements the previous $154 million project to which VATI contributed $69 million in 2022. This latest grant will include additional addresses in each of the counties, including over 2,000 within Greensville County, the newest partner to this regional broadband consortium. To illustrate the impact on each of the areas, the grant adds 153 addresses to Brunswick, 73 to Charlotte, 1,943 to Halifax, 2,041 to Greensville and 589 to Mecklenburg.
South Boston Town Council received updates on the Riverdale boat landing and hazard mitigation projects at a Monday evening work session.
Council also heard a report on the town’s use of its American Rescue Plan Act funds and mulled strategies for employee recruitment and retention.
Construction on the Greene’s Crossing Landing, near the Tucker C. Watkins Memorial Bridge in Riverdale, is well underway. The project is expected to be completed by the first of July. To date, Raab said the town has expended $370,000 in grant money for the project and has received back $71,000.
Rural entrepreneurship was the focus of the annual “All-Hands Meeting” held Thursday by GO Virginia Region 3, a business-led economic development initiative that aims to foster regional growth through collaboration among business, education and government sectors.
The GO Virginia annual meeting, held at The Prizery, celebrated small businesses and entrepreneurs with a panel discussion, a comedic keynote speech, and a networking cocktail hour and dinner.
During his opening remarks, GO Virginia Region Council chair Tim Clark said the organization’s ability to bring people together is the foundation of its success. “We start to realize what our superpower is, what we were doing that had never been done before. The point of GO Virginia was to have regional collaboration. We found that in meetings where we brought communities and businesses together with education, with government, [collaboration] really became something that was noted.”