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More funds flowing to former Daystrom facility

The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority has been awarded a $427,500 grant by the United States Community Advancement and Improvement Program (USCAIP) for use on Phase III of the IDA’s Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center on Greens Folly Road.  

The grant will be used to improve and expand on-site utilities and infrastructure at the former Daystrom Furniture site, Authority Executive Director Matt Leonard told Halifax County Board of Supervisors Monday night during their regular monthly meeting in Halifax.

The authority worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership which helped identify this grant opportunity for Halifax.  

“Investment by this USCAIP partner organization is significant for the development of the Southern Virginia Advanced Manufacturing Center,” said Liz Povar, vice-president of business expansion for Virginia Economic Development Partnership.  “The investment aligns with state, regional and local strategies and will add to the strength of Halifax County’s business attraction and retention opportunities.”

Leonard told supervisors Monday evening, “The United States Community Advancement and Improvement Program grant provides benefits beyond its dollar value.

 “It will act as the required local match for the recently awarded $1,114,535 from the Tobacco Commission, relieving the county from having to make this match,” Leonard added.

Supervisors had not included the 10 percent match of $114,000 in the proposed 2014-15 budget.

It also will extend natural gas onto the site through an easement under the railroad, making natural gas available to the south and east side of the tracks for the first time, Leonard said touting the benefits the grant funding will provide to the county.

“This includes South Boston, and some of the largest assets of the public school system, as well as many large private companies and residences,” he said of the extended natural gas line.

Columbia Gas of Virginia Representative Jon Slaunwhite describes the collaboration with the authority and importance of this extension to the county, saying, “We are committed to supporting the Halifax IDA in growing Virginia’s economy. This project is an example of this collaboration and will allow Columbia Gas to expand our facilities and allow clean, reliable and domestic natural gas to support jobs and growth in the region.” 

Much of the grant monies previously received and spent to date have been used to replace the  roofing and update the fire protection facilities at the former Daystrom facility.   

“We understand that work so far, while critical to stopping the facility’s decline, is not highly visible work,” said Leonard.  “Over the next year and a half, Halifax citizens will see the building and grounds begin to transform, and our prospect industries will find a more ready site for them to consider.”