Build it and they will come

Published 11:25 am Saturday, January 19, 2013

Southampton County officials will have their work cut out for them as they prepare for development in the Ivor area with the construction of the new U.S. Route 460.

The first thing they must do is provide areas for industry and commercial development sure to follow the opening of the $1.4 billion highway in 2018. That will be done by rezoning and updating the county’s comprehensive plan — a map for the future.

The county Planning Commission discussed the matter during its January meeting and will continue to do so in upcoming meetings. For anyone interested in finding out more or providing input, the board meets at 7:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at the county office center in Courtland.

Construction on the new U.S. Route 460 is expected to begin in 2014. The 55-mile toll road will run from Suffolk to Petersburg and include an exit on Ivor Road. That will be the only exit in Southampton County.

As county officials continue to deal with a debt of more than $70 million, they’re counting on development to ease the burden on taxpayers. Developers not only pay real estate taxes, but taxes on machinery, tools and personal property.

So let’s prepare a place along the new highway for future development. Build it and they will come.