Juvenile center site to revert to EDA

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer

Economic Development Authority Chairman Ron Pack has asked the county attorney to draft a resolution confirming that the EDA still owns the property previously designated for the development of a juvenile correctional center south of Windsor. 

The proposed 60-bed juvenile correctional facility south of Windsor was turned down on April 18 by the Board of Supervisors, nearly three months after the EDA voted to transfer to the supervisors the property for the correctional facility. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We all know what the vote was having to do with the DJJ facility,” said Isle of Wight Director of Economic Development Christopher Morello during a meeting of the EDA on April 30, referencing a 3-2 Board of Supervisors vote that doomed the progression of the proposed facility roughly two miles south of Windsor along Route 258. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

”The property matter is in a little bit of a limbo right now,” said Morello, “because the property didn’t convey to the county from the EDA. So it is probably going to be the case that the Board of Supervisors will need to make sure that that part is kind of put to bed as well.” 

“As I understand it from talking with the county attorney, the vote didn’t get specific about the property, so it may be that we want to, in essence, clean that part up and then make sure that for the record, for history, that it’s clear that the property never conveyed and that it’s still EDA property,” Morello told the EDA. 

Pack agreed. “I recommend that (the county attorney) prepare a resolution to that fact, that states that specifically so that we got it covered,” he said at the meeting. County Attorney Robert Jones wasn’t present at that time. 

With its members appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the EDA originated as a way to issue bonds for businesses, according to Pack. He also said that it was not the duty of the EDA to decide which businesses do or don’t come to the county, nor to affect the Board of Supervisors’ decisions on that. 

In January, the EDA voted to give the land to the county for the correctional center in a 5-2 vote, and the two dissenters — both from the Windsor area — resigned over the vote.  

Assistant Isle of Wight County Administrator Don Robertson said on May 1 that the conveyance of the property from the EDA to the county had been in process when the deciding vote on the correctional facility was cast on April 18, but he wasn’t sure if it had been technically finalized. He said that it would make sense to him for the EDA to have ownership over the property since the correctional facility project isn’t going forward now. 

Pack said on May 1 that while the EDA had previously voted to transfer the 20-acre property to the Board of Supervisors for the juvenile correctional facility, since it doesn’t look like the project is moving forward, ownership of the property should revert back to the EDA. He added that the Board of Supervisors would probably have to vote on it. 

Pack said that, because of the Board of Supervisors’ vote to drop the correctional facility project, the 20-acre property should now fall into the same category of consideration for business development as the other empty parcels at the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park, where the facility had been proposed.

Pack said that EDA ownership over a parcel of land makes the process of business development easier. For instance, he said that if a property is owned by the EDA, officials can avoid the process of putting out RFP’s and immediately begin collaboration with potential businesses. 

Other businesses at the park include a Cost Plus World Market Virginia distribution center, a Keurig Green Mountain manufacturing facility and SafCo Products Company distribution center.  {/mprestriction}