Smyth and Bland Consider Pathway Park Development by Regional Industrial Facilities Authority | The Bland County Messenger

Despite all of its advantages, Pathway Park is still empty.

The EDA considered two conceptual plans for its redevelopment: maintain the large single-industry plan or divide it into two or three lots of 200,000 square feet.

County administrator Shawn Utt noted on Wednesday that when floodplain land is not considered, only about 50 acres of the park is suitable for development.

Utt also noted that the park needs a new sewer line because the existing line has collapsed. A larger water line would be an asset and the Virginia Department of Transportation would like access changes to be made. While this work is in progress, Utt said, it would be beneficial to go ahead and put in place the necessary erosion and sediment control measures, which would be a good selling point.

Officials are seeking grants to cover some of these costs, and last year the Industrial Advancement Alliance of Virginia awarded EDA $ 20,000 for development costs.

However, said Utt, many such grants seek regional initiatives. In discussing the possibilities, he said, Bland County was ready to consider such a partnership.

Bland County Administrator Eric Workman said Thursday, “Bland County has a long and positive history of partnering with our neighbors on economic development projects to foster a stronger local and regional economy. County boundaries do not limit the opportunities for residents and businesses to be successful. Thus, it is logical that the localities collaborate with each other for economic development projects. The benefits include stronger local and regional economies as well as access to development resources that are only available for regional projects.

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