ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Thursday, February 5, 2009
PRESENT: Mr. Steve Crandall, Ms. Emily Pelton, Mr. Greg Kelly,
Mr. Alphonso Taylor and Mr. Natt Hall (Staff: Ms. Maureen Kelley)
ABSENT: Mr. Bennett Saunders and Mr. Erwin Berry
BROADBAND – Ms. Kelley reported that the committee has reviewed the final
report and identified several issues to be resolved. She noted that the
report has gone back to the consultants and will tentatively be presented to
the Board of Supervisors in March.
LOCAL FOOD HUB – Ms. Kelley reported that the organizing group is looking at
proceeding with the project utilizing private donations and grant funding.
She noted that they will be back in touch with the EDA with a revised plan.
TRANSPORATION SURVEY – Ms. Kelley distributed a draft Rockfish Valley
Transit Survey for review and approval. The survey will be distributed to
the public, WPOA and WPI via several sources and will be used to determine
public interest in the proposed plan. Members approved the survey with
minor clarifying changes.
CENTRAL VA SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER – Ms. Kelley distributed both
the SBDC and the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development
annual reports. Members tabled discussion for review of the materials.
PUBLIC COMMENT – Mr. Allen Hale, Board of Supervisors’ Chair, said that the
Supervisors have been very impressed with the ongoing work of the EDA and
then brought them up to date on several ongoing county issues:
– Courthouse Project – contract awarded at approximately $3 million less
than the estimates. The county is hoping to break ground in April. Mr.
Crandall asked whether the contractor could be encouraged to use local
contractors whenever possible. Mr. Hale agreed to meet with the contractor
to convey the county’s interest in utilizing local companies.
– Solid Waste Collection Sites – looks very hopeful that the Cove Valley
Recreation Center will negotiate a sale to the county.
– Budget – all levels of government facing decreased revenues. The county
is facing somewhere around a half-million dollar shortfall not including the
school system, which is looking at approximately an $800,000 shortfall in
– Mr. Kelly suggested that the EDA, School System and County consider
sharing the expense for a grant writer to identify and obtain grant funding.
Mr. Hale said that he would ask county staff to prepare a report for the
board on the specifics of doing so.
– Mr. Hale said that he would like to see the county find a way to
encourage residents to buy locally whenever possible.
Mr. Kelly suggested that the EDA begin work on a system to promote local
products. Members voted unanimously on his motion that the EDA work to
create a “buy locally” marketing and distribution system to include
web-based assets and schedule of events plus a marketing plan and budget.
The motion included establishment of a committee of Mr. Kelly, Mr. Hall, Ms.
Pelton and Ms. Kelley to work on the project.