Agreement with Enviva praised

Published 9:33 am Saturday, December 10, 2011

It’s a great day for Southampton County and all of Western Tidewater for the efforts to bring Enviva to our community have paid off with a deal that is a win-win-win for everyone.

It’s an obvious win for an economic-development team that didn’t have much to show for its efforts in recent years. Two monkeys are now off their backs as they brought a significant new investor to the community and landed their first tenant for the controversial Turner Tract.

It’s a win for our local economy, but in a much grander sense than just the 65 jobs the Enviva plant promises and the dozens of other indirect jobs the new operation will encourage.

The real danger in not landing Enviva was sending up a smoke signal to potential business partners that we aren’t really open for business. Our local economy needs the jobs and the tax revenue Enviva will provide. But even more than that, we needed the assurance there was a chance for additional economic development.

And it’s definitely a win for the residents of Shady Brook Trail and New Market Road, who after raising concerns about noise and safety, will maintain their quality of life without running off a significant new employer.

Even if it had meant causing a disturbance to some residents, we needed Enviva to come for the greater good of the community. The fact that compromise was achieved is a happy ending for all.