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Cumberland board dumps Virginia Growth Alliance

Cumberland County officials announced Tuesday, Jan. 12, the county’s intent to withdraw membership from the Virginia Growth Alliance (VGA), an economic development group which serves the area.

Don Unmussig

Cumberland joins a growing list of counties that have expressed over the last year disappointment in the alliance’s ability to aid in any growth.

During the Tuesday, Jan. 12, Cumberland County Board of Supervisors meeting, County Administrator Don Unmussig presented a recommendation to supervisors that the board withdraw its membership from the group.

Unmussig told board members on Tuesday that the county essentially pays VGA a dollar per person in the county’s population, meaning approximately $10,052 county dollars went toward the alliance over the last year.

“There’s not been any real movement or any success or anything with the processes of working with the VGA,” Unmussig said. “I think we need to move on and seek some different opportunities.”

District 1 Supervisor and Board Chairman Brian Stanley, who is on the finance committee for the VGA, echoed similar thoughts to his fellow supervisors.

“We’ve really gotten very little bang for our buck, so to speak,” he said.

On Tuesday night, Stanley praised the work done by the Commonwealth Regional Council, (CRC) another economic development group which Cumberland rejoined earlier this year.

“My recommendation would be that we invest in our relationship with the CRC and, thanks to the service they have provided, decline to continue with the VGA,” he said.

District 2 Supervisor Ron Tavernier provided the motion to give the county’s six-month notice of withdrawal from the VGA. District 3 Supervisor and Board Vice Chair Eurika Tyree seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, Stanley said county officials were moving “in a different direction regarding economic development.”