Botetourt County is among local governments that have formed a regional authority for economic development. Details are below and photo attached.
CONTACT: Beth Doughty
Roanoke Regional Partnership
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ROANOKE VALLEY GOVERNMENTS FORM REGIONAL AUTHORITY FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Authority Will Benefit from State Grant
ROANOKE, VA (December 12, 2013) – Elected officials from Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke counties, the cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the town of Vinton, held a signing ceremony in Roanoke’s Charter Hall on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 to create the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority. The authority will allow the local governments to cooperate on the development of economic projects such as improving industrial sites.
Governor McDonnell also announced on Wednesday that the Roanoke Regional Partnership, administrator for the authority, will receive $65,000 in funding from the Building Collaborative Communities program which promotes regional economic collaboration to stimulate job creation and economic development. The funds will be used to provide technical assistance to the authority as it works to identify opportunities for collaborative development.
The authority is the outcome of an economic summit called in February 2013 by Roanoke County Board Chairman Michael Altizer. John Rhodes, a site selection consultant, brought attention to challenges with available sites. “Having real estate and being at the right level of readiness will not guarantee a company will show up, but not having real estate or not being at the right level of readiness will guarantee they won’t show up,” said Rhodes.
Officials pledged to form a task force to address the issues raised by Rhodes. The result was the formation of the authority which was adopted individually by each locality and formalized with the joint signing.
“Everyone wants jobs and prosperity and the entire region benefits from the actions of each locality to drive those factors,” said Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “But creating product for economic development is an expensive proposition which falls to Roanoke region governments that now are taking the best approach to the challenge by sharing in the costs and the benefits.”
“The Roanoke Regional Partnership celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. When it was formed in 1983 it was unique that local governments would work together instead of competing. That concept has been carried out in many ways since then in examples such as the Western Virginia Water Authority, Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the new broadband authority. “
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Thomas Becher, APR, Senior Vice President
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