Christmas present, indeed

Published 11:12 am Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Though a multitude of children enjoyed tearing into their presents on Christmas Day, it’s the adults who got an early gift that was unwrapped for them this past Friday morning.

As Southampton Supervisor Dallas Jones put it, “Don’t tell me there’s no Santa Claus, because he came to Southampton County this day. I’ve already got my present.”

The gift to which he referred is, of course, Enviva’s announcement that it will expand its local operations. That is figured to bring in $75.7 million dollars over the next several years. Further, the physical growth of the plant is expected to generate 300 construction jobs, which in turn will also help both Franklin and the county through taxes in lodging, meals and sales. Further, the company’s plans will require the purchase of more lumber to produce the wood pellets.

This expansion is more about the money, believe it or not. The fact that Enviva decided to grow here rather than elsewhere is testament of how confident the company is in Western Tidewater and its support. We value that trust.

The Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc. further solidified its dedication to the mission of attracting and retaining business by securing Enviva’s presence. Though words are rarely ever enough, the region owes thank you to Amanda Jarratt and staff — and all other agencies or individuals that worked in this matter.

To take a line from Enviva’s co-founder Thomas Meth that day, we also look forward “to many more good things to come.”