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IDA pushing for county backing of $1.3 million grant

Halifax County Board of Supervisors will be asked to support the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority’s tobacco commission grant request for $1.3 million to further renovate the Green View Advanced Manufacturing Center when they meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary Bethune office complex in Halifax.

In addition, supervisors are being asked to provide a $150,000 local match for the grant funding for the former Daystrom Furniture building during the next fiscal year.

According to County Administrator Jim Halasz, as part of the total project budget of $1,492,000, the authority has committed $42,000 of its funds as a local match and is requesting $150,000 from supervisors.

Authority Executive Director Matt Leonard is expected to present details of the project and grant request to the board tonight that will include projected additional funding from the board for a number of years in the future.

“It is important for the board to recognize that the IDA is not asking for an actual multi-year funding commitment from the board at this point,” Halasz pointed out. “However, it is clearly envisioned that the IDA may return each year to the board with a request for an additional $50,000 to $150,000 contribution to this project stretching out over an additional four years.”

Since all available funds for the current fiscal year have been fully allocated, Halasz said the only options available to the board are to take these funds from fund balance or from the next fiscal year.

On the other hand, the county administrator pointed out “the relatively small local match of $192,000” will leverage an additional $1.3 million in funds to be invested in local manufacturing resources to assist in job creation. 

“In fact, the Green View property arguably would be the only ready to occupy industrial space available in Halifax County for a large number of manufacturing uses,” he said.

Halasz said he believes it is in the best interest of the county, IDA and taxpayers to provide the local match of $150,000, but he added the supervisors must have every expectation the IDA fully comprehends that no multi-year commitment of funds to this project can be anticipated.

In other action tonight, supervisors are scheduled to receive an update from South Boston/Halifax County YMCA President and CEO Marcus Hargrave on the programs and activities the YMCA provides to county residents and a monthly status report from Kenneth Martin of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Supervisors also are expected to take the following actions during tonight’s meeting:

Consider appointing a supervisor to serve on The Prizery Board of Directors as part of a condition for the board of supervisors’ recent approval of a $60,000 loan to The Prizery;

 Consider appointing two supervisors to serve on the joint library committee charged with studying various questions and issues involving the public library system in Halifax County;

 Consider approving the recommendation from the parks and recreation committee to permit a stage to be constructed at the Serenity Garden in Edmunds Park;

 Consider a request from Halifax County School Superintendent Dr. Merle Herndon to reconstruct the board meeting room podium into a semi-circular layout at a cost of up to $2,000 so school board members and supervisors who use the table can visually see and be seen by each other during meetings;

 Approve terms of a grant agreement with the Virginia Department of Aviation for fuel system relocation for the William M. Tuck Airport;

 Set a public hearing on a request for a conditional use permit application from Barbara Tucker who wants to operate a beauty salon and school at a location on James D. Hagood Highway;

  Hear committee reports and a report from Halifax County Finance Director Stephanie Jackson; and 

 Consider making appointments to fill vacancies on the Halifax County Improvement Council, Southside Regional Group Home Commission, Southside Community Services Board, Transportation Safety Commission and Lake Country Area Agency on Aging.

At the conclusion of tonight’s meeting, supervisors are expected to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss specific personnel matters, the acquisition or disposition of property; the protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal counsel and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.