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IDA directors vote themselves $50 stipend for service

Halifax County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Board of Directors unanimously approved an amendment to their by-laws Friday that will allow directors to receive a $50 stipend for each regular board meeting they attend.

The motion was approved during the IDA’s meeting held at Riverstone.

According to the motion, the payment will go into effect one month after the Halifax County Board of Supervisors approves the amendment to the IDA by-laws.

Currently the IDA directors receive no compensation for serving on the board, IDA Executive Director Mike Sexton explained. He noted the directors currently are reimbursed for mileage, travel and other expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
In a separate amendment, the board changed the location of the IDA office from their former location at 515 Broad St. to 1100 Confroy Drive, Suite 1 in Riverstone Park.

Also during the quarterly meeting, directors approved a resolution that will permit the IDA to purchase the former Daystrom Building from current owner Fred D. Godley using $900,000 in tobacco commission funding and provided $10,000 for an earnest money deposit.

The closing date on the former Daystrom Building is scheduled for Dec. 28, according to the resolution approved Friday.

The Daystrom project was awarded a $900,000 tobacco commission grant to purchase the building and a $1.8 million grant to up-fit the building by taking the roof completely off, Sexton said.

The IDA already has a prospect who wants to be in the building, he added.

Sexton said the governor is providing $250,000 to go along with $410,000 from the tobacco commission, and the county is providing a $300,000 grant match.

He said construction bids are to be received by Dec. 22, and construction is to begin in January.

Sexton explained most of the jobs in Daystrom will be traditional manufacturing jobs, and initially, 50 construction jobs will be needed.

IDA directors also adopted another resolution Friday that permits the IDA to submit an economic development grant program application for Southside Virginia to the tobacco commission seeking $1.5 million to establish a model facility at the Riverstone Center in South Boston.

The facility, to be known as the Center for Coatings Research and Education, will demonstrate modern coatings techniques that would locate in the county, Sexton said.

The IDA is seeking $1.5 million in tobacco commission money to pay for the upfitting of the high bay facility at its Riverstone Center, the installation of necessary robotics and the procurement and purchase of specialized coating equipment in order to establish the facility, he further explained.

In other action, IDA directors approved another resolution to issue a request for proposals for a person to develop and manage the Riverstone Energy Center.

In April the IDA published a similar request for proposals that were submitted, evaluated and not accepted, Sexton said.
The executive director recommended issuing a new request for proposals that is being advertised in the legal ads on today’s classified advertising page.

After receiving and evaluating responses, IDA staff hopes to recommend to the IDA a manager for the Riverstone Energy Center with a proposed management contract at the IDA’s first meeting of the new year, Sexton said.

IDA directors also approved a resolution to acquire, finance and lease real estate to Wilco Holdings LLC and to the Halifax County Visitor’s Bureau for the operation of a Visitors’ Center.

The Visitor’s Center will be located at the intersection of Highway 58 and Route 360 adjacent to Supply Line.

The joint venture with the South Boston IDA calls for authorities to negotiate a lease agreement with Wilco Holdings LLC for parking rights and rental of a portion of a building to be used as a Visitor’s Center.

The tobacco commission recently awarded $225,000 to go towards the $435,000 total purchase price with the two IDAs absorbing the remaining $210,000.

In other action Friday, the executive director updated IDA members on current projects under way in the county including NOVI’s wood-fired generating power plant to be located on Plywood Trail in South Boston, and the Energy Center/Modeling and Simulation project and site ready projects, all located at Riverstone Technology Park.

Sexton said preliminary construction on South Boston Energy, LLC (Project NOVI), the wood-fired power plant facility, could begin as soon as NOVI takes possession of the property.

Sexton said the only thing left is to go to the State Corporation Commission for a certificate of necessity and public convenience.

The IDA chief said the project is a long-term project that will begin with 300-400 construction jobs, and it will take 18-24 months to build out. When completed, the plant will employ 40 and will support 100-150 support jobs in the forest collecting wood waste or “slash” that will be used to fire the plant.

Sexton said despite the fact that the plant will be wood-fired, it will be carbon dioxide neutral with 60 percent efficiency. The plant represents an investment of $150-$180 million in capital and should generate $700,000 to $775,000 annually in real estate taxes to the county.

Sexton reviewed the Dominion Solar project, which received a $10 million research and development grant. He said this project would be the largest research and development solar project in the United States, and equipment would be taxed as personal property at approximately $1 million in local taxes annually.

The project would bring two research projects into Riverstone, with the research actually done in the energy storage system. Sexton said they will build a 12 ½ megawatt storage facility of about one-acre under roof in size. The University of Virginia will come in to do the validation of the research. 

“Within the next few years, Halifax County should have two new major taxpayers online,” Sexton said.

Under new business, IDA directors approved a lease agreement with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative which extends the lease until Jan. 31, 2012 and includes upfit for the entire second floor west wing at Riverstone.

As part of the lease, MBC agrees to pay the IDA $14.82 per square foot for 8,535.1 rental square feet for a total monthly rent fee of $10,984.53 beginning Jan. 1.

He also said the IDA has good prospect activity right now, saying one prospect is looking at locating a facility at Riverstone.