Harry Childress Recognized

Harry Childress, center, is presented with a certificate of appreciation for his service to the VCEDA board by VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher, left; and VCEDA Executive Committee Chairman and past VCEDA Board Chairman J.P. Richardson, right.

LEBANON — Scott County is poised to get 160 new jobs, thanks to eHealth Technologies.

During its Thursday meeting, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) approved a request from the Scott County Economic Development Authority for consent to lease property to eHealth Technologies.

The company announced in December that it would invest $375,000 to establish a customer support center in the county.

Why was consent to lease needed?

In 2003, the VCEDA board approved a loan of up to $830,000 from regional coal tax credit funds to the Scott County EDA to be used for site development and other improvements for the e-Corridor Regional Park/Southwest expansion at Duffield. The business park was later renamed the Scott County Regional Business and Technology Park.

The Crooked Road Tech Center building was constructed by the EDA at the location. Under the terms of the agreement the Scott County EDA has with VCEDA securing the VCEDA loan, the property could not be sold or leased without VCEDA’s prior written consent.

VCEDA’s consent action Thursday paves the way for 9,700 square feet of finished space in the building to be leased to eHealth Technologies, which projects bringing 160 new jobs to Scott County.

Loan extensions approved

In other Scott County-related action, the board approved the extension of a loan of up to $2.8 million to the Scott County EDA in 2015 for the Ttech project at Weber City. It also approved the extension of an up to $505,000 loan approved to the Wise County Industrial Development Authority in 2010 for the Appalachia America Energy Research Center, which has since been renamed the Graphene Research Center. Both of these loans had reached their maturity dates, and the VCEDA board approved extensions for both.

The board approved extensions of disbursement deadlines on a variety of loans and grants previously approved to the town of Haysi, Dickenson County IDA, Lee County EDA, Scott County EDA, and Tazewell Cinema & Entertainment, LLC.

Other action

Also during its Thursday meeting, the board approved a resolution supporting the completion of the Coalfields Expressway, similar to a resolution adopted in December by the Virginia Coalfields Expressway Authority. Since December, a number of coalfield counties and organizations have adopted similar resolutions expressing the importance of the completion of the Coalfields Expressway, which would stretch from West Virginia to Pound, Virginia.

The board also approved a semi-annual application deadline for VCEDA’s new Renewable Energy Fund. The first round of applications will be due no later than Aug. 10. The renewable energy fund program is designed to encourage new jobs and investment in the region from the renewable energy sector.

Honoring Harry Childress

Outgoing VCEDA board member Harry Childress was recognized for his service to the board and to Southwest Virginia. His most recent service on the VCEDA board spanned from 2016 to 2020 as a representative of the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance, and he also served from 2008 to 2011 as the representative on the VCEDA board for one of the top three coal producers in the region at that time.

Childress was presented with a framed certificate of appreciation recognizing him for “his outstanding service and genuine concern for the people of Southwest Virginia and the Coalfield Region.”