Pictured from left to right are: Lauren Mathena, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, Todd Lindsey, President, Eastern Engineered Wood Products, Gary Walker, Chairman, Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Facility Authority (Five County Consortium), Linda Balderson, Preservation and Access Programs Manager, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Dan Witt, Charlotte County Administrator and Wade Buick, Director of Operations, Eastern Engineered Wood Products.

New Distribution Center in Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Park

On Monday afternoon, representatives from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Charlotte County, and Virginia’s Regional Heartland Industrial Facility Authority joined representatives from Eastern Engineered Wood Products for the groundbreaking of the company’s new distribution center near Keysville, Va. They addressed public officials and guests from Keysville and the surrounding area who attended the ceremony.

Charlotte County Administrator Dan Witt said, “Eastern will be a great fit for Charlotte County and a great partner in the Heartland Park.  It has been great working with them and I am looking forward to filling up the Heartland Park. I hope this is the first of many.” 

The 32-acre parcel is located in Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Park at the interchange of US Routes 15 and 360.  Construction will be completed later this year and the facility will consist of office space, cutting buildings, a drive-through storage building, and vertical racking.  Approximately 22 acres of the site will be finished for inventory lay-down. It will replace a smaller leased facility the company occupies in Emporia, Va. and will expand the present delivery footprint to new markets further west in Virginia and North Carolina.  It will also service customers in Washington D.C. and parts of Maryland. 

$5.23 million grant from National Cemetery Administration will support construction of 3,600 additional burial spaces

Governor Ralph Northam today celebrated the start of construction to expand the Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Amelia County, supported by a $5.23 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemeteries Admiration (NCA). The funds will be used to add 3,600 new pre-placed burial crypts at the cemetery, which is operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (VDVS).

An aerial view of the Lakeside Commerce Park located near the Town of Clarksville Virginia

Microsoft Corporation has purchased all or most of the land in three industrial parks located in Mecklenburg County — Hillcrest Industrial Park in South Hill, Roanoke River Regional Business Park located between La Crosse and Brodnax, and Lakeside Commerce Park near Clarksville.

All three land transfers occurred in the past week.

Details are scant on the transactions, through which Microsoft Corporation acquired nearly 900 acres of land from five local economic development entities — the Mecklenburg County IDA, Brunswick County IDA, Town of Clarksville EDA, Chase City EDA and the Town of South Hill.

Five counties have been awarded a total of $502,491 in grant funding for fast-tracking broadband from the Commonwealth of Virginia as part of the federal CARES Act. Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Lunenburg, and Nottoway counties have each been awarded $85,000.

The Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) assisted all five counties in submitting the applications. The project, in partnership with Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp (MBC), will improve broadband in these counties. MBC will partner with existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in each county to expand broadband services to target areas. The project will benefit approximately 2,445 households and 400 businesses.

The national credit rating agencies have assigned new credit ratings to the City of Emporia for the first time since 1995.

S&P Global Ratings has assigned a ‘AA-‘credit rating, which is in the very strong category, based on its assessment of the strength of the City’s finances, management, economy and overall debt burden. Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a ‘Aa1’ enhanced rating which is based on the Virginia Localities Intercept Program and based on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s rating.

Gatherings limited to 25 people starting midnight Sunday, masks required for ages 5 and up

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that the state will enforce new restrictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19 starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, including limiting gatherings to 25 people — down from a current cap of 250 people. Also, all people ages 5 and older will be required to wear face masks in indoor public spaces, a change from a limit on people ages 10 and up.

Enforcement of social distancing, mask wearing and cleaning at grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential retail businesses will be increased, with violations leading to possible Class 1 misdemeanor charges, and there will be an on-site alcohol curfew of 10 p.m. for all businesses that serve drinks.

The 25-person limit on gatherings does not affect Virginia’s theme parks, which are limited to 1,000 patrons under Phase Three of Northam’s reopening plan. According to a spokesperson from Busch Gardens, the new orders pertain only to “small gatherings like parties, weddings. We continue to enforce our mask and social distancing policy, plus temperature checks for all guests and ambassadors,” Cindy Sarko said in an email Friday. Both Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion have announced plans for holiday-themed events.

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