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Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre revenue-sharing agreement revised

MARTINSVILLE, VA – The Henry County Board of Supervisors, Industrial Development Authority of Henry County, and Martinsville City Council voted to revise the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre revenue sharing agreement during a joint meeting at the Harvest Foundation on Tuesday.

“Today was a good step in the process of collaboration between the county and the city, is also an opportunity to secure additional $6 million dollars from the Harvest Foundation to help the grading project on lot two at Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre,” Henry County Administrator Dale Wagoner said.

The first revision will split the original agreement into two separate agreements for CCBC and the land adjacent to the Patriot Centre, commonly referred to as the Bryant Property.

“I think with this agreement what will happen is something that the city is very interested in seeing and that's revenue that actually comes back to the community from the revenue sharing agreement will occur quicker,” Martinsville City Manager Leon Towarnicki stated.

The second revision directs a portion of the tax revenue generated from Lot #2 of CCBC to the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation for future marketing, recruitment, and development activities.

“Track 2 is a huge track. It's rail sided and it has a potential of some investment probably anywhere between half a billion to well over a billion, so when you look at that and you think about the taxes that a project of that size would generate the revenue that would come back to both the city and the county and now even to the EDC would be substantial from that so it helps get revenue quicker,” Towarnicki explained.

The original revenue-sharing agreement was finalized in 2007 with the understanding that the city and county were responsible for all of the expenses related to the development of the parks.

“We stood a better chance by having that revenue sharing agreement to get money from the tobacco commission back in the day, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Harvest Foundation,” Wagoner added.

Both localities would split taxes generated in the parks and the IDA would own the land.

During the process of securing grant funds for additional grading on Lot #2 of CCBC, it was requested that the agreement be split due to the development of CCBC moving faster than at the Bryant property.

Martinsville Vice Mayor Aaron Rawls told BTW21 News he and Mayor L.C. Jones made the request to do things in a way that would best benefit citizens.

When asked if actions like the one taken on Tuesday would help the city avoid reversion, Towarnicki said, “I think absolutely.”

Officials said it was also determined that relying on grant funds was not a suitable plan to ensure adequate funding for future development of the sites.

The agreement will be forwarded to the Commission on Local Government for its review and issuance of findings of fact.

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