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Economic development committee reestablished in Buckingham

An economic development committee has been reestablished in Buckingham, prompted in part by the county’s possible withdrawal from the Virginia Growth Alliance (VGA).

The board of supervisors (BOS) voted last month to give six-months notice to end the county’s membership with VGA, although the county may reconsider staying in the alliance before the six months wrap up.

At the first Buckingham BOS meeting of the year, Monday, Jan. 13, the board made appointments of board members to various committees, including the appointment of two supervisors or county staff to the VGA Board of Directors. Supervisor Donnie Bryan and County Administrator Rebecca Carter were chosen as Buckingham County’s two representatives.

Supervisor Don Matthews suggested the BOS consider reestablishing an economic development committee that used to be in place in the county.

“There’s been some discussion about how years ago, we had the local economic development committee, which was comprised of citizens and maybe one or two board members,” explained Matthews. “I’ve had quite a bit of activity from other citizens that would like to bring that back, and I would also like to do that too.”

Matthews made a motion to reestablish an economic development committee for the county. Supervisor Thomas Jordan Miles III seconded his motion, which passed unanimously.

Matthews asked that the other board members return to the following month’s meeting with names of individuals who may be interested in taking part in the committee.

Matthews said his hope is that the committee, comprised of approximately 10 community members including two BOS representatives, will exist with the purpose of discussing business concerning Buckingham’s economic development.

“I felt it was vital to reestablish this committee as we look to the future of growing Buckingham’s business community,” he said. “I understand that we had an economic development committee prior to my time on the board, and with the new changes and challenges facing businesses and industry, I felt we needed to hear from our business community on ways to move forward.”

Matthews added that Buckingham Zoning/Planning Administrator Nicci Edmondston will play a vital role in the re-established committee.

Miles, who seconded Matthews’ motion, had similar hopes for the committee.

“I believe Buckingham County, with the assets we have and are set to have in the coming years, is embarking on a new path with regards to expanding our small, existing businesses and drawing new and appropriate businesses to our community while maintaining our rural nature,” he said.

Both Matthews and Miles expressed hopefulness of economic development opportunities in the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station anticipated to be built at Union Hill.

“We have opportunities that will be presented with the new tap and compressor station from the pipeline that may afford new industry and growth in the future,” Matthews said.

“The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and gas tap near Route 15 will serve as a game changer for business growth in Buckingham, a project which I am a supporter of,” Miles added.