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IDA finance committee reviews $2.52M budget

Finance committee members of Halifax County Industrial Development Authority were among three committees that met with Executive Director Matt Leonard earlier this month at Riverstone.

Finance Chairman Garland Ricketts and authority members Butch Blanks and John Cannon discussed the proposed $2.52 million budget composed of $2 million in non-discretionary funding that includes property debt service and operations and maintenance expenses.

The remaining $550,000 includes staff costs, office overhead, legal and professional and business development expenses, according to Leonard.

The goal is for the full authority board to approve the final budget at the June board meeting.

Leonard also informed committee members the audit is complete and has been reviewed by legal counsel and will be ready for review by the committee at their May committee meeting and then will be recommended to the full board for acceptance at the May board meeting.

Operations and personnel committee members Ted Bennett, Wanda Jeffress, Blanks and Cannon also met with Leonard prior to the finance committee meeting and were informed the employee handbook draft is complete and under review by legal counsel and expected to be brought to the full board at its May meeting.

Also meeting with Leonard earlier this month were members of the operations and personnel committee including Chairman Chris Lumsden, Ricketts, Mattie Cowan and Cannon.

Leonard informed members the design work associated with the $1.5 million Green View Phase II rehabilitation project at the former Daystrom building was awarded to B&B Consultants with Baskerville as a sub-consultant.

Acting on a motion by Cowan and seconded by Ricketts, the committee authorized Leonard to execute the B&B Consultants design contract for $105,000.

Leonard explained the authority plans to go out for three separate bids for the roofing site and architectural and mechanical/electrical/plumbing work.

Construction could be completed as early as the end of December, the director said.

In other action, operations and personnel committee members took the following actions:

Reviewed a copy of the properties inventory; Members requested another inventory be compiled showing properties not owned by the authority but available through the authority to prospects.

 Were updated on a tobacco commission grant project the authority continues to work on with Dominion Power to plan a redundant permanent power feed to Riverstone that would allow it to become Dominion Data Center Certified and attract a data center;

 Learned the parking lot upgrades, also being paid for through a tobacco comission grant, are almost complete at Riverstone Technology Park;

On recommendation from the designer, Leonard said the authority is adding signage and paint stripping to improve truck traffic flow, increase handicap and visitor parking.

 Were notified technical submittals for E-58 room back-up power have been approved, and equipment fabrication nears completion with Elliott Electric scheduled to begin construction work this month and completed in May;

 Learned the authority has received “three good responses” from qualified firms to the request for proposal for survey and wetlands delineation for the Burlington property in Halifax;

Costs for these services are being paid through a Community Development Block Grant.

 Received an update on the authority’s work with County Administrator Jim Halasz, Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy and South Boston Town Manager Ted Daniel to determine the possible expansion of enterprise zones and the best use of allotments;

 Reviewed and discussed various naming schemes for certain properties and were asked to be prepared to discuss the issue more fully at the next committee meeting; and

 Learned the marketing plan was still in draft form targeting sectors for the coming year including Bio-tech: research and development, pharmaceutical; Precision engineering: auto, aero, composites, firearms; Data/IT: Data center and call center; and Wood: building products;

The full authority board is expected to meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday.