The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Monday, February 11, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Rocky Mount Town Council's efforts to keep its Enterprise Zone status has failed after a bill introduced by Ninth District Del. Charles Poindexter (R-Glade Hill) to extend renewal periods was left in the House General Laws Committee.
Town council had requested that Poindexter introduce a bill in Virginia General Assembly seeking to extend renewal periods of existing Enterprise Zones.
The bill would have provided that the expiration date of any enterprise zone in a locality in which the monthly unemployment rate exceeded 6 percent in any of the 12 months immediately preceding Jan. 1, 2013, be extended until the final day of the calendar year in which the unemployment rate in the locality is equal to or less than 6 percent for a period of 12 consecutive months, or until five years after the original date of expiration.
The Enterprise Zone designation has allowed Rocky Mount to offer businesses access to local and state financial benefits for property investment and job creation, according Matt Hankins, assistant town manager.
Hankins said the Enterprise Zone has been of critical importance in attracting jobs and capital investments to Rocky Mount.
Without the extension of the renewal periods, the town will lose its Enterprise zone designation because of state program requirement changes.
Hankins said earlier the town is working with Franklin County to identify joint enterprise locations that may benefit both the county and the town
Even with this setback, Hankins said businesses still have more than a year to plan and implement changes to take advantage of state real property investment and job creation incentives within the existing Rocky Mount Enterprise Zone.
Building investments qualify so long as they are complete and placed in operation with a certificate of occupancy issued on or before Dec. 31, 2013, Hankins said. Job creation is eligible within the same time period.