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Halifax County IDA OKs Negotiating Lease With Prospect

After emerging from a long closed meeting Friday morning, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) voted to authorize Executive Director Mike Sexton to negotiate lease terms with a prospect. The identity of the prospect and the location to be leased were not identified.  Once the lease is negotiated it will have to come before the IDA board for approval.

Also during its quarterly meeting, the board received updates from Sexton and consultant Robert Mitchell on various projects.

Sexton told the board the IDA will be hosting two events; one at VIR this weekend for about 120 people to raise the awareness of business opportunities in Halifax County and another at South Boston Speedway on May 8, an appreciation dinner, for local businesses.

In addition, Sexton said open houses will be occurring at the new energy center at Riverstone Technology Park, and he is seeking to create several advisory groups and present the energy center to them. 

Sexton highlighted an agribusiness group, which he wants to see formed to work with area farmers on how the energy center can benefit the agriculture industry.

Also, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is going to be linked to the energy center, Sexton said, noting some area school children got a tour of the simulation center this week and were excited by what they experienced.

Mitchell gave the board an update on the site ready project at Riverstone.  A mandatory pre-bid conference is scheduled for May 11 where interested contractors can walk the site and ask questions.

The bid opening is scheduled for 3 p.m. on May 25, but an apparent low bidder will not be named during the opening, rather the board wants to wait until its design firm, Dewberry and Davis, has had a chance to review the bids.

Sexton informed the board that IDA staff is contacting key companies and working with the Southside Business Technology Group (SBTG) to find an operator for the energy center/modeling and simulation center.

A request for proposals has been issued through a state procurement system, and bids are expected by June 10.

Sexton also addressed the ongoing project at the Day site for a commerce lane.  He said $500,000 had been approved by the Virginia Transportation Board and was waiting for VDOT to come to the county with an agreement.  The final design will then be submitted for VDOT approval, and after that the project will be put out for bid.

At the close of the meeting Sexton said one of his goals going forward was to work on the IDA’s communication with the public and, do a better job working with the press.