By Aila Boyd
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors received a staff report on the recent work that the county’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) has been doing during the board’s August monthly meeting.
Ken McFadyen, the county’s director of economic development, and John Kilby, the chairman of the EDA, delivered the report.
The entity that is now known as the EDA was originally known as the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), which was launched in 1969. The Board of Supervisors approved the IDA’s transition to become the EDA in December of 2015.
Since 2016, the EDA has announced $196,555,450 in capital investment, 871 full-time jobs, and a total of $40,352,582 in annual payroll. The presentation did not include the $4.5 million Gala Industries expansion of its Eagle Rock facility, which brings the total of announced capital investment to over $200 million. McFadyen described the surpassing of the $200 million mark “quite the milestone worth celebrating.”
The following past announcements were highlighted during the presentation: the Arkay Packaging expansion in January 2016 ($15 million investment and creation of 50 jobs), the location of Eldor Corporation to Botetourt County in March 2016 ($75 million investment and the creation of 350 jobs), the location of Ballast Point Brewing in Botetourt County in May 2016 ($47.8 million investment and the creation of 178 jobs), the Canatal Steel USA expansion in December 2016 ($1.5 million investment and the creation of 38 jobs), the Altec Industries expansion in October 2017 ($30.2 million expansion and the creation of 180 jobs), the location of Pratt Industries in Botetourt County in March 2019 ($20.1 million investment and the creation of 50 jobs), and the Metalsa expansion in July 2019 ($6.4 million investment and the creation of 25 jobs).
Current projects that the EDA has been working on include the management of the construction of the new Colonial Elementary School and the establishment of a data center at the Greenfield Education and Training Center with the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority.
Additionally, the duties of the EDA were outlined in the presentation. They include: the acquisition, selling, and exchange of real and personal properties, the issuance of bonds, borrowing of money, and the acceptance of grants, and the creation of loans and grans for the purposes of promoting economic development. The Code of Virginia also notes that the EDA can “exercise all powers expressly given the authority by the governing body of the locality which established the authority.”
The EDA is comprised of seven members, all of which are appointed by the Board of Supervisors, and one ex officio member from the Board of Supervisors. The current composition of the authority is as follows: John Kilby, chairman; John Griffin, vice chairman; Dr. Richard Bailey, ex officio member; Jeff Emry, John Williamson, Lyn Hayth, and Joyce Kessinger.
Currently, the EDA assets include ownership of the Greenfield Education and Training Center and 15 acres on Avery Row and the lease of the remaining Botetourt Center at Greenfield business park acreage, total 417 acres.
McFadyen also noted that the meetings are held bi-monthly on the fourth Friday in January, March, May, July, September, and November at 2 p.m. in Room 229 at the Greenfield Education and Training Center.