In the zone

Published 8:22 am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It would be one heck of a coup if Isle of Wight Supervisor Phillip Bradshaw was able to convince Gov. Bob McDonnell to declare the portion of Isle of Wight that surrounds the Franklin mill as an “enterprise zone.”

We’re wholeheartedly pulling for him.

Bradshaw said last week that top state officials, including McDonnell, support having a portion of his county added to an enterprise zone in neighboring Franklin and Southampton County.

Bradshaw, who represents the Carrsville District, met with McDonnell, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng to discuss the enterprise zone.

He and other county officials want a 6.37-square-mile area of southern Isle of Wight, which includes the mill, added to the Franklin-Southampton zone.

Those who have tried before (Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. President and CEO John Smolak and Isle of Wight County Director of Economic Development Lisa Perry) have been told “no,” so kudos to Bradshaw for refusing to have the door slammed in his face.

Isle of Wight stands to benefit from the designation, but so does neighboring Franklin, which has a revenue agreement with IOW over the mill.

We hope Bradshaw has the political pull to get the job done.