Supervisors attend to various expiring terms

Published 11:13 am Saturday, November 28, 2015

With terms set to expire on Dec. 31, the Southampton Board of Supervisors addressed reappointments to the Industrial Development Authority and the Western Tidewater Community Services Board at Monday evening’s meeting. Eppa Gray and Ash Cutchin will return to the former, while Cindy Edwards — the county’s accountant — will succeed June Steele at the latter.

According to county administrator Michael W. Johnson, the Industrial Development Authority of Southampton County was created by the Board of Supervisors in 1969 with the purpose of promoting industry and developing trade by inducing manufacturing, industrial, governmental and commercial enterprises to locate in or remain the county.

The authority consists of seven board-appointed members, one from each election district in the county, that serve uncompensated, four-year terms.

Acting as a liaison between the industry and the county, the authority provides tax-exempt financing opportunities for eligible manufacturing companies and governmental entities. Quite simply, the authority exists to promote Southampton County as a viable industrial option, helping those interested acquire, own or lease properties within the county.

Although each financing opportunity is unique, the authority usually issues bonds through the following steps. First, the borrower decides to construct or renovate a facility within the county and files an application with the authority that includes prior banking approval, amount estimated to cover the cost of acquisition, construction and renovation of the project.

The authority then holds a public hearing on the project, and if the application is in order, forwards it to the Board of Supervisors for approval. Once approved, the borrower and an attorney specializing in bonds issuance prepare final documents to the authority, which then deposits the bond amount into an account for the borrower to pay for costs of acquisition of the land, construction or renovation of the project.

Some of the Industrial Development Authority’s recent ventures include serving as a conduit for a state grant to repurpose a building owned by the Severn Peanut Company into a peanut butter processing facility; issued a revenue bond to refinance existing debt at the Village at Woods Edge to allow them to construct a new memory care unit; developed and entered into an agreement with Enviva to facilitate construction of a new manufacturing facility; and acquired the Turner Tract site and developed the infrastructure to serve it.

The Western Tidewater Community Services Board, meanwhile, serves the cities of Franklin and Suffolk and Southampton and Isle of Wight counties. It is the single point of entry for access to mental health services, support for intellectual disabilities and services for substance abuse disorders.

Governed by a 12-member board of directors with three citizen representatives from each community, the board is tasked with evaluating community needs and planning programs to meet said needs.

For more information, the Southampton County Industrial Development Authority can be reached at 653-3015 or via email at The Western Tidewater Community Services Board can be contacted at 562-2208 or through its website at