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The future of jobs

The greatest need the Heart of Virginia has had for the last 10 years or so is stable jobs that allow for a modest income for the good people who live here.

Added full-time and part-time jobs increase the quality of life for a community and its people, increase the tax base, which means more money for schools and services, lessening the burden of real estate taxpayers in rural communities and increasing disposable income, which directly helps other businesses in the area.

This certainly does not mean that any industry that provides jobs should set up shop here and have free reign over its neighbors and others who could be affected by its impacts.

A majority of people who have spoken before supervisors in Buckingham are against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project that could bring numerous jobs and new industry through the possibility of Kyanite Mining Corp. and the county working with Dominion on a tap to the natural gas flowing through it. There’s no doubt this project will have some adverse effect on people living along the pipeline route or near the planned compressor station, whether it’s added stress to their lives or a change in scenery.

Last week, after hearing from citizens — a majority of whom opposed the project — the Prince Edward County Planning Commission voted down a special use permit for a proposed Dollar General store at the intersection of Rice’s Depot Road and Route 460. Speakers cited traffic as their top concern.

The fact of the matter is that these projects — with their potential impacts — would bring some added value to the economies of each locality, and potentially the area, as in the case of the pipeline.

I’m not saying these proposals should be approved, nor am I vindicating those who oppose them.

It’s important for residents of the Heart of Virginia, who too clamor for more jobs and employment opportunities, not to settle for what they perceive as mediocre economic prospects, but to be realistic about the future of their community’s economy.

JORDAN MILES is the managing editor of The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Jordan.Miles@FarmvilleHerald.com.