Prince Edward says $1.9 million IDA project still on

Published 6:00 am Friday, May 1, 2020

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A Prince Edward County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) project involving $1.9 million of county funds is still moving forward, with details expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Kate Pickett

On March 10, just before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic became strongly felt in Prince Edward County, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a request from the IDA for $1.9 million. The vote followed a public hearing during which four members of the public spoke, each of them opposing the request.

As noted in a memo from County Administrator Wade Bartlett, the board vote increased the general fund budget by $1.9 million using money from the fund balance, which is similar to a county savings account. The vote then appropriated the money to the IDA.

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The memo also provided what is still the most detailed explanation publicly available for the money’s purpose — it will be used by the IDA to strengthen and expand the economic development efforts of the IDA.

Supervisors and IDA Chairman Brad Watson both indicated during the March 10 meeting that they could not make public any more specific details about the purpose for the money.

Prince Edward County Public Information Officer and Director of Economic Development Kate Pickett expressed a similar position Wednesday, April 29, but did provide a timetable for when details would be revealed.

“Unfortunately, due to confidentiality agreements, I can’t comment about the IDA project any further at this time,” she stated. “I look forward to sharing further information with you in the upcoming weeks.”

She did confirm the project is still moving forward.