Chairman Forms New Committee

Published 4:32 pm Thursday, June 12, 2014

BUCKINGHAM — A new committee to focus on Buckingham’s commercial and industrial development opportunities has been created by the chairman of the Board of Supervisors and blessed by its members.

“…After careful consideration, and talking with members in the community, I am announcing the formation of a Community Development Advisory Committee,” noted Donnie Bryan, board chairman and District Two representative.

The action to create the committee comes only days after Dillwyn’s only grocery store announced its closure, laying off 30 full-time and part-time employees.

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According to a statement provided to The Herald by the educator, the “committee will focus on the issue of commercial and industrial development in Buckingham County…tasking the committee with the responsibility of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the county in attracting and maintaining such development and then making recommendations.”

The ten-member committee will be tasked to make recommendations on strengthening the county’s commercial and industrial tax base “by supporting the existing business or the industrial community (and encouraging) new businesses and industries to locate within the county. The committee will support its recommendations with research on the economic health of the county and the business and industrial needs of the community and the economic impact the recommendations will have,” notes the chairman’s statement.

The committee will also be tasked to make recommendations on job creation, and encouraging businesses and individuals to invest in Buckingham.

“All of which will ultimately lead to a better quality of life for all Buckingham County residents,” Bryan notes.

“The committee will consist of representatives from commercial and industrial presences now in the county, from the education community, from local government and others who can provide expertise on this topic,” he added.

Bryan named local business owner Sandra F. Moss, who also serves as Dillwyn’s vice-mayor, and on the Virginia Tobacco Commission; sawmill owner Dale Midkiff; retired educator and former supervisor Joe Scruggs; longtime Kyanite Mining employee Sallie Atkinson Mowbray; Pete Kapuscinski, a retired businessman; County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter; Assistant County Administrator and Finance Director Karl R. Carter; County Planner and Zoning Administrator Rebecca S. Cobb; New Canton-based Central Virginia Health Services’ Paula Tomko and Dr. Randall Bayshore and Steve Powell of the Buckingham Branch Railroad Company, whom, according to Bryan, “…will help with the transportation issues we are facing in the county. As we all are aware, we have two-lane roads. I think the county should also look at our railroad to help further our needs.”

Bryan concluded by citing that he spoke with members of the board of supervisors, who are also willing to serve on the committee.

Before supervisors would unanimously approve of the chairman’s appointments and committee creation, an applause erupted from the audience.

“I want to thank you for your support in this,” Bryan added. “To quote someone…‘If we don’t do anything, then all we’re doing is just spinning our wheels.’ We have to do something in this county.”

“The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is used for bonding (and) financing, projects like that…The Industrial Development Authority doesn’t go out and see what they can do to bring industry in. They’re your entity that has to approve your bonding to borrow money…” noted County Administrator Carter, responding to a question from The Herald pertaining to the presence of both the IDA and the new committee, and their relationship.

“ (This is) an active group trying to get people in, to attract them to the county, to show them the plusses that we have in the county,” Bryan responded to The Herald.

“And other community development too,” Carter concluded.