A seemingly minor action taken by the Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday could have major implications for the county’s future economic development efforts.
The board unanimously approved a resolution affirming its commitment to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) that it will fund its local share of costs related to the preliminary engineering and construction work required for the Beaver Creek Drive Extension Project.
Currently, the county is seeking various funding sources to serve as a local match for an expected grant from the federal government that would greenlight the project.
“This is a project that has been on our radar for quite some time,” said County Administrator Dale Wagoner. “The extension will provide access to Lots 11 through 14 which represents the next phase of development for the industrial park.”
Wagoner said that both Sen. Mark Warner, D-Alexandria, and Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, plan on including funds for the project in the upcoming federal spending bill.
The total cost of the project is approximately $4.3 million which has represented a significant hurdle in past county budgets. But with federal support and additional funding partners, the county will be able to press forward on its goal of long-term sustainable growth by diversifying its manufacturing sector.
The design for the project calls for the construction of two new lanes on Beaver Creek Drive that will connect to the next crossover and then back to the existing westbound lanes of the street. The extension will be approximately one mile.
It is estimated that the park’s expansion will open up another 200 acres. The next phase of the project would provide access to Lot 16 of the industrial park and connect to Barrow Mills Road.
In other matters, the board:
- Awarded a $94,000 contract to Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund to buy 0.94 advance non-tidal wetland credits related to the development of Lot #2 of Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $25,000 received as a “Pick up the Pace” grant from the Harvest Foundation to convert at least two tennis courts to dual-purpose tennis/pickleball courts at Jaycee Park.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $11,222 received from the Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft grant program. The Sheriff’s Office will use the funds to purchase multiple camera systems to help locate stolen vehicles and investigate other criminal activities.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $241,275 received from the Virginia Department of Education to bolster the school’s fresh fruit and vegetable program at its elementary schools.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $107,977 from interest income on the construction of the Adult Detention Center (ADC) to pay the arbitrage rebate to the Internal Revenue Service.
- Approved an additional appropriation of $497,670 from the Federal Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Funds, and interest income from the ADC construction account, to initiate recommendations from the county’s compensation and classification study.
- Held a public hearing and approved an ordinance to allow the Martinsville Speedway to enter into a cooperative marketing agreement with Virginia sports betting platform permit holders.
- Held a public hearing and approved a request to rezone approximately 5 acres in the Iriswood District from Agricultural District (A-1) to Commercial District (B-1). The applicant wishes to construct an approximately 10,000-square-foot building to locate their contracting business.
- Held a public hearing and approved a request to rezone approximately 2.5 acres in the Blackberry District from a Suburban Residential District (S-R) to a Mixed Residential District (M-R). The applicant wishes to place double-wide manufactured homes on a permanent masonry foundation.