Isle of Wight must continue emphasis on economic development

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

To the Editor:

An economic impact study for the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters project will be presented at the April 19 Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors meeting.

It indicates that more than the initial 20 years, the county will realize a return of almost $4 for every $1 of incentives offered by Isle of Wight. Local sales tax alone generated from Green Mountain is projected to be over $200,000 over the initial five years of operations.

We need to look at the bigger picture when deciding on the budget. If our future goal is to reduce our tax rate, our focus must be bringing in new business revenue.

The county has an opportunity because of Hampton Roads ports’ expansion to provide business/job growth along the Route 460 corridor, and the state is providing funding for the Route 460 expansion.

The previous board invested heavily in providing the perfect location for new businesses by expanding the Intermodal Park and contracting for water needs. This paid off with securing Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, with a projection of $1 million in revenue in 2013, and more going forward.

Eventually 800 jobs will be created, production jobs averaging $40,000 a year. This is $32 million per year added to the economy.

Five large water user clients are considering locating in the park.

Please tell board members that it is critical to continue funding economic development. The county must fund building connecting waterlines from the Suffolk line to the park so we can access the water and finish the main road in the park to continue to secure new businesses.

If you want to reduce county real estate taxes, tell your Board of Supervisors to commit $4 million to build this infrastructure now. Every citizen is needed to speak at the April board meeting, or call/write explaining reasons why. If they wait two years, Suffolk will get the port business.

Sharon Hart