LAWRENCEVILLE – At the August meeting Michael Dotti, Business Director, provided an update to the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors.
Lawrenceville Historic District update – On Aug. 5, 2021 the Department of Historic Resources approved the updated documentation. Buildings built up to 1975 may now qualify for various historic tax credits and other funding sources. This means citizens and businesses in the affected area are eligible for various forms of building relief. Dotti said the IDA Board in an equal financial partnership with the Lawrenceville Town Council funded this important project.
Virginia, Brunswick County, Lawrenceville Historic District (Additional Documentation), roughly bounded by West 6th Avenue, Maria Street, Lawrenceville town line, Rose Creek, and Thomas Street. Lawrenceville vicinity, AD00000313, Additional documentation approved Aug. 5, 2021.
Dotti said grant programs and new funding opportunities continue to be coming in almost every day. He said both the federal and state government are working hard to reopen the economy during the continuing COVID pandemic. He said the IDA continues to work closely with the Southside Planning District Commission and our partners to create an advantage for new and existing businesses.
”I continue to participate with the Small Business Recovery Assistance Fund working group. To date we have helped 10 businesses receive much needed grant money. There have been 12 completed applications and we have spoken to 42 separate businesses. With the latest approval of utility help, the volume of calls has increased significantly. There is still over $350,000 available in the fund and businesses can still apply. We found that the paperwork could be daunting. In answer to this we have created a Thursday workshop at the IDA office to help with the paperwork. We welcome anyone looking for help or information to please contact us. This help is by appointment,” Dotti stated.
Dotti said he and Supervisor John Zubrod along with regional stakeholders met with Congressman Good to discuss Internet and specifically broadband access. Dotti said the issue continues to be the risk reward for providers to spend the money to make high-speed Internet available. He plans to continue to press the issue at every opportunity.
Dotti said the four front IDA parking lot lights are repaired. The delay was caused by time required to get the correct bulbs. The new bulbs are LED and should last longer. Painting will follow. He is still waiting for a globe for one back light.
The IDA Board extended the contract for Commonwealth Preservation for 4 years.
Dotti said the IDA spent money on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project that was cancelled. He said Dominion Energy sent a check for $92,848 as reimbursement. Morris Taylor, Vice Chair, made a motion to accept the funds, seconded by Dr. Arthur Jarrett, Jr. and the motion carried.
The IDA Board approved spending funds for painting the IDA office and to purchase additional equipment. Dotti said the funds are in the FY2021-2022 budget.
Lawrenceville Town Councilman H. B. Brockwell, Jr. provided the Board of Directors with information from the stakeholders meeting held on Aug. 4, 2021. The town provided an overview of the water and wastewater systems. Representatives from Lawrenceville Town Council, Brunswick County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Alberta attended the meeting. Brockwell said more meetings will be held.
Grand openings – Kindred Transportation on July 30 – non-emergency medical transport; Power of One – July 31 – community services. Dotti said the IDA did not provide direct assistance to these businesses. However along with local and county partners “we continue to create an environment conducive to growth of existing businesses and the birth of new ones.”
Community development and support – Sponsor for National Night Out, welcoming gifts and message to the new teachers at Brunswick County Public Schools, participated in the opening of Power of One, provided space for Community Center board meetings.
Prospects – Dotti said the IDA is currently working with 10 prospects. These prospects range from small retail operations to very large businesses. A major issue is available space. “As soon as we acquire a building and get it ready, it is utilized. This is a good problem to have but it is still a problem. I encourage private building owners anywhere in the county to contact me. We would love to be of assistance and offer guidance. One upcoming business completed their DEQ applications. Announcements coming.
Grant writer – “I continue to research the grant writer position and have applied for a resurgence grant that will pay part of the salary. Many grants have an administrative component, which will also help fund the position. We are receiving approximately $4 back in grants for every $1 we spend on grant writing,” Dotti said.
Grants – Applied for $100,000 - Resurgence Grant-Funding for creation of Merchants Assistance Program (MAP).
Awarded $35,000 – The Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) to help with architectural and engineering work for Produce Project.
Awarded $25,000 – Virginia Outdoor Foundation Grant to help with Lawrenceville playground.
Awarded $50,000 Brownfield Grant for Sledge & Barkley
Applied for $50,000 Brownfield Grant for 129 Hicks Street.
Applied for $800,000 Tobacco Commission Grant for potential project.
St. Paul’s Timber – The IDA received $117,300 for the sale of the timber at the St. Paul’s farm. We are looking into the next sale.
The IDA Board of Directors meets the second Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Brunswick County Conference Center, 100 Athletic Field Road, Lawrenceville, across from Brown’s Funeral Service. The meetings are open to the public. For more information call (434) 848-0248.