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Search on for new Halifax County IDA director

Newly appointed Halifax County Industrial Development Authority member Chris Lumsden will chair the committee charged with searching for a new executive director to replace Mike Sexton.

In October, Sexton announced his retirement from the Halifax County IDA effective in March.

He has served as executive director for the past three years.

Assisting Lumsden in the search will be board members Marcus Hargrave and Butch Blanks.

The committee was unanimously elected Friday morning after authority members emerged from a marathon closed session that lasted almost four hours.

Lisa Kipps Brown, who attended the closed session meeting, was absent for the vote due to an out-of-town business appointment.

During the closed session, members said Virginia Economic Development Partnership Business Development Director Liz Povar participated in the discussion about finding a new IDA executive director.

No time frame has been set for the search, according to IDA member Ted Bennett.

In other action Friday morning, Hargrave was elected secretary/treasurer replacing Brown who previously served in the position.

Brown, whose term on the authority has expired, has agreed to seek reappointment to the board, according to fellow board members. However, they said she no longer wishes to serve as secretary/treasurer due to pressing job responsibilities.

As part of the motion, Garland Ricketts was elected to serve as assistant secretary/treasurer.

Authority members also approved the $535,000 procurement of equipment for C-Care Phase II B, namely a “Metal Hang Line,” from Superfici.

According to Energy Center Executive Director Doug Corrigan, he used competitive negotiation to retain the best manufacturer of the hang line to meet the specific needs of the Energy Center and its commercial partners.

Superfici was the only company to submit a proposal for the hang line that will be paid for with tobacco commission funds.

Corrigan estimated it could be three to four months before the hang line is installed in the coatings center at Riverstone.

In another matter, Corrigan informed board members the modeling and simulation center at Riverstone will begin in February hosting open houses the third and fourth weeks of each month for businesses and educational institutions.

During the third week of each month, an open house will be held for businesses to tour the facility, and during the fourth week, the center will be open for tours to educational institutions.

Post cards advertising the open houses will be mailed out to businesses and educational institutions in the near future, Corrigan said, and open house advertisements will be placed in local newspapers.

In other action Friday, members voted to ratify the lease with Faneuil Construction.

Dominion Virginia Power in partnership with Faneuil, Inc. is investing $1.5 million and creating 150 jobs in Halifax County by establishing a customer care center for Dominion Virginia Power at Riverstone.

Work on the up-fit of the Riverstone office space is nearing completion, and computers and furniture have been delivered, according to a report given Friday morning.

A general manager, human resource manager, office manager and IT manager and approximately 20 customer service personnel have been hired, and initial training has begun.

The center is expected to be in operation by Feb. 1.

Authority staff is working to finalize agreements necessary for the $800,000 Tobacco Regional Opportunity fund award with the county providing a $90,000 match to fund Faneuil’s up-fits and project costs at Riverstone.

In other project updates offered Friday morning:

Dominion Virginia Power is in the process of identifying a transmission route for the 115kV transmission line extension.

A new Dominion environmental consultant is scheduled to arrange a meeting within the next 60 days with the Corp of Engineers to discuss potential routes for the transmission line.

At the Riverstone Center, B & B Consultants has completed preliminary layout plans for the addition of 59 parking spaces in the north end of the existing parking area. The addition will increase the total parking space count from 146 to 205 including six required handicapped parking spaces.

Additional parking is needed to accommodate the Faneuil project.

Construction on the new parking lot area is expected to get under way March 15.

Also slated for improvement is the truck turn at the loading dock at Riverstone.

Intersection improvements on Confroy Drive at Riverstone have been approved, and the Virginia Department of Transportation will be posting a 35 mph speed limit in the park.

At the Day site off Highway 58, plans for grading are 90 percent complete, and the project will be advertised next week with construction slated to start in late February.

Painting, temporary lighting and floor recleaning is complete at Green View Manufacturing (former Daystrom building) located on Green’s Folly Road in South Boston.

At the former Medical Textiles building located on Industrial Park Road in South Boston, roof repair work is complete and under a one-year warranty.

New springs have been installed to the dock levelers.

Total cost of all repairs and fees for construction are expected to come in under budget of $30,000.

A $50,000 grant has been received for feasibility planning for development of a strategic market position for the former Burlington Industries plant in Halifax.

The authority was denied a $600,000 grant last September, but this initial planning grant may improve future funding chances for the purchase, rehab and reuse of this property, officials said.

At South Boston Energy, a $650,000 Community Development Block Grant has been applied for to fund off-site improvements including construction of a pump station and force main to transport treated effluent (gray water) from the Halifax County Service wastewater treatment plant to the energy plant.

South Boston Energy will match the funds with $536,310 needed to complete the project.