Officials discuss regional developer

Published 9:53 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wade Bartlett

Officials in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties have been in discussion with the Virginia Growth Alliance (VGA) — an economic development organization that covers the Piedmont Region of the state — about a combined economic developer position that would cover the three localities.

During the Prince Edward County supervisors’ budget work session Thursday, County Administrator Wade Bartlett said the county had been communicating with the VGA regarding the issue of not having an economic developer.

“There has been discussion with Cumberland and Buckingham, possibly going in and sharing a position, I’m not sure if that’s the best decision for us. It may be the best choice for Buckingham and Cumberland. We have a little more activity, I believe, than they do,” Bartlett said.

Buckingham County Administrator Rebecca S. Carter confirmed there had been discussions between the VGA and the three county administrators.

“I think this would be a position that would be contracted probably annually in order to see if we reap any benefits,” Carter said.

“I have not taken anything to my board because I was waiting to see what Cumberland and Prince Edward will do; the cost will be determined by how many of the three counties participate.”

Cumberland County Administrator Vivian Giles did not respond to a Herald inquiry regarding the discussions.

Bartlett and other county staff have taken over the duties of the economic developer since former economic developer Sharon Carney retired in June.

The county will soon again start advertising for an economic development specialist, a position that takes on a more clerical role in the development process, Bartlett said in a previous interview.

Cumberland and Buckingham currently have no specific role of economic development director or economic developer solely dedicated to job and industry recruitment.