County to spend $723K on access road

Published 6:00 am Saturday, November 21, 2020

Prince Edward County’s efforts to create an internal access road through the Prince Edward County Business Park off Commerce Road/Route 628 are leading to a change in the county’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) budget.

Kate Pickett

The county’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, Nov. 10, to authorize holding a public hearing on the proposed FY 21 budget amendment for this project.

Prince Edward County Director of Economic Development Kate Pickett noted that the county has been developing an internal access road in the business park for a few years now.

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“There are about 60 acres that are landlocked in the back part of that land,” she said, adding that the addition of the internal access road will help increase the marketability of the park.

“The road is going to be about 1,500 feet, and it’s going to be transferred to VDOT once it’s complete. It will also include a water line.”

Pickett explained to the board that the county had agreed upon a budget of expenditures with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) for the project of $2,097,111.

She noted that the county has either secured or has the prospect of securing $1,389,127 in grants from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and VDOT, which will reduce the amount Prince Edward has to pay to $707,984.

“I also talked to Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) and Melody Foster about a cost estimate for them managing this project,” she said.

The CRC gave an estimate of $15,000 for their services.

“When you take the amount of revenue that we’ll be receiving through grants, if you take the budgeted total plus the CRC estimate, the total expenditure for the county will be about $722,984,” Pickett said.

“So tonight, at this time, I’m requesting that the board make a motion to hold a public hearing to amend the budget,” she continued. “And because this amount is more than 1% of the board’s approved current budget, that is why we have to have a public hearing and advertise for that change.”

As stated in the agenda item summary of the board meeting packet, for the county to receive a total of $650,000 in grant money from VDOT, the county must secure a qualifying investment for a total capital investment of approximately $3.25 million within five years of the county’s request for the funds.

There is a possibility of a four-year extension after the five-year period is over, in which the county would reimburse VDOT every year after that of an amount of 20% per year.

“If the county does secure that capital investment within that time, the county would get all of the money back,” the agenda summary stated.

Pickett explained that the $3.25 million capital investment does not have to be just one business but can come through multiple businesses.

Of the $650,000 VDOT grant, $500,000 does not need to be matched by the county, and that amount can be used to help match the Tobacco Commission grants, which require a one-to-one match, Pickett said.