By Aila Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org
All five members of the Board of Supervisors gave the green light at its meeting March 26 to move forward with a grant application for the construction of an access road to a graded pad site and a yet undeveloped site at the Botetourt Center at Greenfield in Daleville.
The Economic Development Access Program grant application is for West Center Drive and will be submitted to the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
It was noted that the 20-acre graded site, which was created with cut material from the Eldor Corporation site, has sparked the interest of companies that are considering locating in the area, but the fact that an access road hasn’t been established to the site could serve as a potential deterrent.
It will cost an estimated $906,021 to construct the access road.
If the county’s application is approved, the Commonwealth Transportation Board could potentially allocate up to $650,000 for the project, requiring a $256,021 local match. However, $150,000 has already been earmarked for the project in current year budgets. The remaining local match will have to be established in the 2020 fiscal year.
The proposed two-lane road will be 3,000 feet in length and will provide access to 112 acres.
In addition to servicing the site of potential new companies, it will also provide additional access to the Pratt Industries’ facility. Botetourt County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership announced in February that the country’s fifth largest corrugated packaging company would establish a facility in Greenfield, bringing 50 jobs at an average yearly wage of $47,900 to the area.
The Commonwealth Transportation Board stipulates that the county will have five years to secure a qualified establishment that will invest in real estate improvements and create a significant number of jobs at one of the sites serviced by the road. In the past, the Commonwealth Transportation Board has provided funding for similar access road projects at Greenfield.
Ray Varney, resident engineer for the Salem District of the Virginia Department of Transportation, pointed out that in order for the county to receive the full $650,000 amount, a company serviced by the entire 3,000 feet of the road would have to be established by the five-year deadline. If only a company serviced by a portion, and not all of the road, were to be established at one of the sites, the county would only receive funding proportional to the amount of road required to reach the company.
In preparation for the application, the county acquired the services of Engineering Concepts Inc. to perform a primary engineering study on the proposed access road.
As noted in the Preliminary Engineering Report, funding from the Commonwealth Transportation Board isn’t guaranteed, but is available every fiscal year.
In addition to the local match, an additional $542,754 will be required to extend water and wastewater utilities to the area serviced by the road. It was noted by county administration that such funding would have to be separately addressed in the Capital Improvement Plan.