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City Council voted Tuesday night to support two grant applications to the Virginia Tobacco Commission. One grant, if awarded, would create a graded pad site in the Berry Hill Industrial Park. The second grant would be used to construct a shell building in The Cyber Park
The graded pad site in Berry Hill Industrial Park would be used for an economic development project with the code name of Project Lignum. This project is expected to create 80 new jobs with an average annual salary of $41,513 and a total capital investment of $120 million. As a large electric user, this project also would greatly benefit the development of the industrial park by providing power credits to help fund new electrical infrastructure.
The Project Lignum project requests that the Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA) supply a graded pad, ready for construction. The estimated cost of creating this pad site is $5.64 million. After utilizing all other available funding sources, it is expected that there will be a local requirement of approximately $1.1 million from the City of Danville, and an equal amount from Pittsylvania County.
The shell building in the Cyber Park would serve as an incentive to recruit prospective manufacturing companies. The region has one available modern manufacturing building. The grant application to construct a shell building would address the lack of supply. If the grant were approved, it would pay $1 million toward the costs of constructing a 30,000 square-foot shell building that will be expandable up to 100,000 square feet.
Currently, the Danville Office of Economic Development is engaged with a number of advanced manufacturing companies, all of which seek modern manufacturing buildings in the small to medium size range. The majority of these companies are from the aerospace, automotive, defense and construction industries, each having a heavy reliance on metal working, and are considering locations in the region, if a suitable building is available. Their needs span from 20,000 square feet expandable up to 100,000 square feet.
Pittsylvania County is also planning to construct a 40,000 square-foot shell building in Cane Creek Centre.
The Tobacco Commission is scheduled to meet in January.
In other matters last night, City Council voted to:
In addition to these votes, City Council held a first reading on the use of a state grant of $9,839 for litter control and recycling. A first reading is an introductory step required by City code before certain matters can be voted upon by City Council. This step serves to provide public notice of pending action. Council could not vote on the matter tonight. The earliest vote that can take place will be the Dec. 19 City Council meeting.
Council's meeting included a business session followed by a work session. In work sessions, Council reviews non-routine matters that may be voted upon in future business meetings.
During last night’s work session, reviewed retiree and employee benefit changes, discussed changes in the nepotism policy, and scheduled a vote for its Dec. 19 meeting on accepting four Nissan Leaf electric vehicles and chargers.
In addition to the business and work session, a special session was held at 5:30 p.m. to discuss economic development activity. This meeting was held in closed session as allowed by state law.
River City TV airs live all Council business sessions. The first rebroadcast will be at 8 p.m. Thursday. Watch it on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122). The taped broadcast is available now on River City TV’s Facebook page.
River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.