Botetourt County economic development officials welcomed the public funding announced Thursday to improve industrial site development in Greenfield.
Outgoing Governor Ralph Northam announced the grant as part of a $7 million expenditure to support industrial sites in Virginia. Other regional program grants included funding for Franklin and Pulaski counties and the city of Roanoke.
The $362,700 from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Business Ready Sites program will be used to prepare 121 acres of land for occupancy in the county’s Industrial Center Park off US 220 near Daleville.
“Having industrial sites primed and ready is key to Botetourt County’s work to recruit future manufacturing employers to the community,” a county news release said.
“Speed of access to business is one of the first things potential businesses turn to when looking to grow,” said Franklin County Economic Development Director Beth Simms.
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The Botetourt County Department of Economic Development has offered to use the state grant to update Greenfield’s environmental site assessment, survey and related engineering studies, the news release said.
In addition, the grant will support the construction of a sewer line, access road and grading involving the vacant site, located among the sprawling facilities officially known as Center Botetourt in Greenfield.
The gradually suburban, but mostly rural, county north of Roanoke sees Greenfield as the keystone to its business and economic future.
“Since 2016, nine manufacturers have announced plans to locate or expand in Botetourt County, involving over 1,000 new jobs and over $200 million in taxable investments. These manufacturers include: Munters, Maag Gala, Metalsa, Pratt Industries, Altec Industries, Canatal Steel USA, Constellation Brands, Eldor Corporation, and Arkay,” the county press release reads.
Botetourt County competed with 25 localities to receive a grant from the Business Ready Sites program, the county said.
“The purpose of doing this work now is that it is essential to prepare industrial sites for companies looking for locations for expansion projects before these companies call us to discuss our available sites,” said Botetourt County Director of Economic Development Ken McFadyen.
“The bigger the site, the better prepared we need to be when companies contact us,” he added,
“Communities whose sites are ready with all utilities in place and with at least grading plans are the ones that receive favorable attention from companies looking for locations for their expansion projects,” said said Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe.
Other grants announced Thursday by the state’s Business Ready Sites program:
Franklin County, Summit View Business Park, $1,017,870
Pulaski County, New River Valley Business Park, $300,000
Roanoke County, Wood Haven Technology Park, $75,000