Friday, August 1, 2014

Gloucester, VA Ernest Lane Gate?

Ernest Lane is scheduled for road pavement, at least this is the present plan as shown in the recent agenda before the Board of Supervisors for this coming Tuesday night, August 5th, 2014.  At present Ernest Lane is for the most part a dirt road.  So why is this road of concern that it should be considered for pavement?  Well we decided to find out and what we have uncovered is rather interesting.  It looks like the taxpayers are once again being asked to fund a project that will only benefit a few at the expense of the many.

  Above is a Google Maps picture of Ernest Lane.  How old it is we have no idea.  We will be going out to the area very soon to take updated pictures to show you other information we have found in our research.  But in the mean time, let's take a look at the actual information found in the Board of Supervisor's agenda for August 5th, 2014.

Gloucester. VA Earnest Lane VDOT Project Information, 2014 from Chuck Thompson

Another area of interest in the above?  It is stated that everyone of concern in the area has been notified of this information.  Well when we checked with just one resident who will be affected by this, he knew nothing about it in any way.  But he does now thanks to the question.

Look at paragraph 2 above.  WHEREAS, any such road must be located in a low-density development area and have no more than 1500 VDP;

Okay, what the heck is VDP?  We tried to look up VDP and found 169 acronyms.  The closest thing we could find for what it might mean is Variety Development Project.  Trying to identify what that means?  Unidentified category is what came back.  So in other words it pretty much means nothing except whatever the folks using it want it to mean.

  Either way, this is a VDOT project which means that all taxpayers in the state are paying for this.  Not just local taxpayers.  But should the taxpayers be funding this?  We have to ask that question based on other statements in the above agenda document and what our findings have shown.

  On the south side of Earnest lane, but not fronting Ernest Lane is Bedford Falls development managed by Epstein Corporation of Yorktown, Virginia.  Now who is the Epstein Corporation?  Well with research on that information, what we were able to come up with, they have ties to some local folks, specifically Breckenridge Ingles as well as Adrian Rider Cook.  The same folks who are behind the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust with whom Ashley Chriscoe, Board of Supervisor, Gloucester County, happens to sit on the board at the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust with Mr Ingles.  Isn't that just some interesting coincidences?

  Why is that even important?  Well, when you look at some of the development plans for the Bedford Falls real estate development, they have in their plans to put a road from Bedford Falls to Ernest Lane.

Now the above map comes straight from Gloucester County's website and is a tax map.  Take a look at the road already named, Songbird Path.  Now let's once again go back to the document above that is part of the agenda for the Board of Supervisors and look at a statement on there.  It clearly states on the document that the Board of Supervisors are unaware of any pending development that will significantly affect "EXISTING" traffic on this road.  Really?  No one looked at this tax map or is it that no one expected anyone else to look at this tax map?

  Here is how this game is played folks.  Go back to the picture at the top or look at the one now below.

  In the highlighted yellow section above, Songbird Path is just waiting to be built which the plans above show will lead right out to Ernest Lane which WILL significantly affect present road traffic.  It gives the developers a second path in and out of Bedford Falls.  This would increase the value to those who live there as well as increase the value of the homes to be sold in this development.  Now if the folks at Epstein Corp had already built Songbird Path, then it would be up to the developers to pave Ernest Lane.  But since they have not yet built that road and it's only pending, then all the developers have to do is wait until VDOT paves it at taxpayer expense and it's an automatic profits increase to Epstein Corp because now they will not have to pave that road and now get the extra profits from increased values all at your expense.

  Isn't that a nice plan?  Again, you have to love all the wording in the above agenda.  It's very very slick and they can claim it means whatever they want it to mean.  The VDP of 1500 can mean 1,500 residences as a low-density term.  So what is high density then? 1,501?  Oh but it gets better folks.  Let's now look at some of the tax information we came across as we were researching all of this.

Can someone please to explain to us how 8.8 acres in this area is only worth a lousy $100.00?  We would like to offer them a chance to triple their money.  We will gladly pay them $300.00 for this 8.8 acre parcel of land.  Right now that is a wooded area right to the left hand side of where Songbird Path is planned for development.  But is this just a mistake?  No, there are more just like this.

Here is another parcel only worth a mere $100.00.  Now why are these folks not paying the proper taxes on this land the same as others have to?  Why are the local taxpayers having to pay extra because these folks are not paying their share?

Now this area has not yet been subdivided and is where the circle presently is and where Songbird Path will move in and out from.  This area is presently at a value of $133, 000.00.  Once subdivided for more houses, it will go up much more.

Another area only worth a lousy $100.00 for 3.27 acres?  Are they kidding?  Who comes up with these values?

Now let's look across the street at county owned property, (questionable as to real ownership and to be covered in a future article) and look at what the county has values set for county property.

Now isn't the above just interesting?  1.41 acres valued at $55,000.00 and another .5 acres valued at $58,000.00.  Where the county got these properties is going to be covered very heavily in the near future.  In the mean time, it really does not matter what the county values any property it owns as it does not pay taxes on it anyway but the point is about why the county values land in the area so high except in the development area is valued so low.  Anyone ever see the prices of the houses in Bedford Falls?  They start at $230,000.00 at the lowest end.

Now here is a GIS map from Gloucester County's own information.  One can clearly see that there is going to be a road put in named Songbird Path which will in fact significantly impact present traffic on Ernest Lane.  Just look at all those houses already planned out.  We can only imagine that there is another set of plans that will later be filed to add houses to Shyan Way circle above as well as Songbird Path.  Why would any developer waste so much land that can be developed?  Might it take the project well beyond or just beyond the meaning for rural development and no expectation of planned development that will change present traffic?  Well we already know that is BS based on what we see and in our own opinion.

  Now some questions.  Did Ashley Chriscoe, on behalf of his ties to Mr Ingles, put in the request for this rural development project here on Ernest Lane as it will benefit Bedford Falls and the profits of the Epstein Corporation?  Will Ashley Chriscoe somehow get business out of this that could make this a conflict of interest?  With Ashley Chriscoe's ties to sitting on the Board of the Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust with Mr Ingles in itself be a conflict of interest if Mr Chriscoe was in fact the one who made such request?  We do not know.  We are only asking the obvious tough questions and we think everyone should be asking these questions.

Here is yet another GIS map showing Bedford Falls and how it will impact Ernest Lane.

Now does anyone have any questions as to the potential impact on Ernest Lane from Bedford Falls?   Would anyone say this qualifies for low density?

Now, looking at the website for Bedford Falls, which most of it is still under construction, (Lousy web developers?) shows that Shyan Way will have houses on it.  Not shown in the GIS maps above.

The above picture is used under Federal Fair Use laws and comes off the Bedford Falls website.  So it looks like we were right about a part of this not having been filed yet with the county or the county has not put up those filings yet in regards to houses on Shyan Way circle.  Again, just look above.  Visit the Bedford Falls website.

Interesting to say the least.

Last minute update.  VPD not VDP is Vehicles Per Day and is a transportation term.  So the 1,500 Vehicles Per Day is what is being defined as low density for this project.  Well under those terms, we would agree that it will remain low density, but we still have to ask the question, why the expense to the taxpayers instead of the expense to the developer when it's the development that will benefit the most?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gloucester Board of Supervisors July 1 2014 Meeting Open Letter to the Citizens of Gloucester, VA

“For the Common Good. “

Your meetings seem to get more interesting overtime.

Can anyone show me in the US or Virginia Constitution where you can take money from someone and give it to others?

If you have not seen this meeting it is available on Mr. Thompson’s website.  I cannot do justice to what was shared in the meeting.  But here are a few highlights to wet your appetite.

After listening to Mr. Douglas S. Meredith, we should consider getting an Economic Development Director to look out for the interest of the county. Not sure what he is looking out for besides himself?

Mr. Hutson thanks for sharing your tell tale with us when you are less than totally honest.

Mr. Chriscoe why did you get a text message just before the Woodville vote, was it voting instructions?  We were so sorry to see that the meeting was keeping you from something important that night.  We will help someone else get elected into your position next time around so you will not have to waste your time dealing with something as unimportant as county business.  Why did you use the term “funneling money” sound less than honest for one of our Supervisors in an official capacity?

Back to giving away our tax money.  You spent most of the meeting trying to look out for the tax payers and not wasting our money.  You had many energetic and passionate discussions about saving taxpayers money until the end of the meeting.  I am not sure what happened: you had not given away any money; you were tired; or you had money you had to get rid of before the end of the meeting?  I fully agree that our watermen are hard working and need to be looked after, but what law says to take from the many and give to the few (Haven’t we provided them a dock at taxpayers expense?)? How is this helping the whole county?  You did not give outhouses to any other hard working groups like construction workers, landscapers, or VIMS PHDs that are forced to wear short paints to work in the summer because of the heat?

I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice.  Our founding fathers used common sense and Christian scripture when establishing our founding documents. 

“For the Common Good. “

Alexander James Jay

P.S.  "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, 1766

"Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." --John Adams (1765)

McAuliffe Administration Has Restored Voting Rights to More than 2,500 Virginians

McAuliffe 307
McAuliffe 307 (Photo credit: mdfriendofhillary)
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that his administration has restored the voting rights of more than 2,500 Virginians who were convicted of a felony, served their time and paid their debts to society. 

“Virginians who have served their time deserve a second chance to become productive members of society again,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am proud of the reforms my administration has undertaken to expand and expedite the rights restoration process and the work my team has done restoring Virginians’ voting rights so former offenders can lead successful, productive lives here in the Commonwealth.”

In April Governor McAuliffe announced changes to the Commonwealth’s restoration of rights policies that made the process more transparent and reduced the waiting period for offenders with more serious offenses to have their rights automatically restored.

“Restoration of voting rights is a key step for people who have paid their debt to society and want to build new lives for themselves here in the Virginia,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney. “Governor McAuliffe instructed my team and me to make this a top priority, and we are working every day to process applications quickly and transparently so that these Virginians can contribute to their communities through the restoration of their civil rights.”

Governor McAuliffe Statement on GSA’s Designation of Virginia as Potential FBI Headquarters Location

English: The Seal of the United States Federal...
. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after the U.S. General Services Administration announced that Springfield, Virginia is on the final list of three possible locations for the new Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters:
“Virginia’s inclusion on the final list of prospective sites for the new FBI headquarters is unquestionably positive news for our Commonwealth and economy. There is no doubt that the Springfield location offers the FBI and its employees the best combination of location, access to mass transit and local amenities. I look forward to continuing to work with Virginia’s congressional delegation to convince decision makers within the FBI that Virginia is the location for this headquarters and the thousands of jobs that come with it.”

The full General Services Administration can be found here:

Virginia’s Popular Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday Returns Friday

Money 2014 ...item 3d.. State worker ordered t...
(Photo credit: marsmet527)
~ School Supplies, Clothing and Footwear will be Exempt from Sales Tax ~

RICHMOND, Va. – It’s time to make your shopping list because Virginia’s popular sales tax holiday for clothing, footwear, and school and office supplies begins Friday.

For the ninth straight year, many clothing items, shoes, and school and office supplies will be sales tax-free during the first full weekend in August, which is Friday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 3 this year.  It’s a great time to buy what you need while saving some money.

During the three-day event, most school and office supplies that cost $20 or less each, as well as clothing items and pairs of shoes priced at $100 or less each will be exempt from Virginia’s 5.3 percent state and local sales tax.  You’ll save even more in most Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads localities where the sales tax is 6 percent.  For example, if you spend $500 on qualifying items during the sales tax holiday, you’ll save $26.50 for tax exempt purchases.  You’ll save $30 in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

The list of tax-exempt items is the same as last year.  It includes pens, pencils, loose leaf ruled notebook paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, construction paper, sneakers, hats, shirts, dresses, jeans, bathing suits, diapers, T-shirts, and many more items.  There is no requirement that the purchases be made for school purposes.

All retailers who sell the exempt items are required to participate.

The tax-exempt items are available to anyone shopping in the state and there is no limit on the number of products you can buy tax-free, as long as each one qualifies under the guidelines.

“This is an event that benefits both consumers and businesses in Virginia,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe.  “Many families will be sending more than one child off to school soon and this gives them an opportunity to save money on purchases that are necessary to get them ready for class.  It also carries a universal appeal because everyone who wants to buy some clothes or office supplies can benefit during the three days of the holiday.  I urge all Virginians to go out and save some money, while supporting our retail community.”

If you can’t get out to the stores but still want to shop and save, online purchases of qualifying items are also tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday.

During the sales tax holiday, retailers may also choose to save taxpayers even more money by absorbing, or paying themselves, the sales tax on items that are not eligible for exemption.  In past years, many stores have taken advantage of this opportunity and some have sold everything in their stores tax-free.

An all-inclusive list of school and office supplies, a list of exempt clothing and footwear items, guidelines for shoppers and retailers, and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the Department’s Sales Tax Holiday Information Center at

Virginia’s other two sales tax holidays are for hurricane preparedness in May, and for energy-efficient appliances and water-saving items in October.

Secretary Haymore Unveils Southern Virginia Wine Region Road Signs

~ Sign Program Promotes Virginia’s Burgeoning Wine Industry, Diverse Wine Regions and American Viticultural Areas ~

Program reflects partnerships involving Agriculture, Transportation and Tourism

CHATHAM –  Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore unveiled the Southern Virginia Wine Region road signs, part of a continuing Virginia wine region sign program aimed at attracting more visitors to Virginia wineries.  The unveiling was the first event of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s two-day cabinet visit to Southern Virginia.  The signs announce to travelers on selected primary and secondary roads that they have entered a particular Virginia American Viticultural Area (AVA) or wine region.  Now in its second phase, the program has located almost 40 signs in thirteen Virginia AVAs and wine regions.

            The Southern Virginia Wine Region sign was unveiled at The Homeplace Vineyard in Chatham.  Incorporated in 2004, The Homeplace Vineyard is owned and operated by the Williams Family.  Held in the same family over the last 4 generations, The Homplace was traditionally a leaf tobacco farm, planting its first grapes in 2005.  The family now cultivates 5,600 vines on almost 10 acres, raising Traminette, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin and Viognier, the official wine grape of the Commonwealth.    
Running across the middle of the Virginia’s border with North Carolina, this mostly rural and rolling landscape of farms and woodland takes visitors into the south-side Virginia version of small-town America. Southern Virginia has a warm to temperate climate with good soil for winemaking in selected areas where the topography is ideal.  Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Grigio and Vidal Blanc are the most produced grape varietals in this region of the Commonwealth.
The wine region sign program was funded by a grant from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program and matching funds from the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB).  The Office of the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry worked closely with Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to design the signs and select locations that fit within the rules of the program and were best situated to promote the wine regions.  The Virginia Wine Board will assist with any maintenance should a sign be damaged or destroyed. 

“I want to thank Governor McAuliffe, Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne, CTB, VDOT, and the Virginia Wine Board for their assistance in making these wine region signs a reality,” said Secretary Haymore.  “The continued growth of Virginia’s wine industry, one of the fastest growing sectors of Virginia agriculture, is a priority for Governor McAuliffe and cross secretariat cooperation is key to the Governor’s overall economic development and jobs creation agenda.  This partnership, along with our on-going work with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, will help spur more growth and opportunities at wineries and their suppliers in rural areas throughout Virginia.”

“The Transportation Secretariat partners with the Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry on everything from road signage, to weight restrictions, to the safe use of farm vehicles on Virginia roads,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne. “Our secondary roads are vital to those who work the land. Continuing to maintain the positive partnership between our two secretariats is a huge benefit to the farmer as well as the consumer.”

Raising the profile of Virginia wines and wine tourism, along with the production of top quality wines, are key components in the recent strong growth of the Virginia wine industry.  Continuing to promote Virginia wines at the Virginia Executive Mansion and throughout Virginia, on other domestic business recruitment visits, and on upcoming international trade and marketing missions, Governor McAuliffe is making the continued growth and success of the Virginia wine industry a priority in his administration. 

Virginia is home to more than 250 wineries and is fifth in the nation for wine grape production.  A 2012 economic impact study shows that Virginia's wine industry contributes almost three-quarters of a billion dollars - or $747 million - annually to Virginia's economy.  Virginia wineries and vineyards support 4,800 jobs that provide $156 million total in wages. 

Wine travel in Virginia has gained many recent accolades, including being named one of the ten best wine travel destinations in the world for 2012 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.  In 2010, approximately 1.6 million people visited Virginia wineries.  Tourism is an instant revenue generator for Virginia.  In 2010, tourism generated $19 billion in revenue, supported 204,000 jobs and provided $1.2 billion in state and local taxes.

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Ruling in Bostic v. Rainey Case

English: Protesters for gay marriage at the 20...
English: Protesters for gay marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement in response to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Bostic v. Rainey striking down Virginia’s ban on gay marriage:

“I am overjoyed by the news that, as a result of today’s ruling, Virginia will become a state where two people who love each other can get married regardless of their sexual orientation. This is a historic ruling for our Commonwealth, and its effect will affirm once again that Virginia is a state that is open and welcoming to all.

“I want to thank Attorney General Mark Herring for his leadership in this case, and all of the men and women who fought for years to make this day a reality. Progress does not always come as quickly as we hope it will, but today is yet another example of how justice, equality and the people who fight for those values will always persevere in the end.” 

Our Notes:  If you have never read a history book that explains how great civilizations were torn down and destroyed, you do not have to, it's being played out right in front of your eyes right now.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Administration Appointments

McAuliffe speaking at Frying Pan Park in Hernd...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced additional appointments to his administration. The appointees will join McAuliffe’s administration focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will grow Virginia’s economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth.

Secretariat of Finance

R. Neil Miller, Deputy Secretary of Finance
Neil Miller most recently worked as Virginia Commonwealth University’s budget director.  Prior to his time at VCU, he served as Deputy Secretary of Finance in the administration of Governor McDonnell.  Before moving to Richmond from Alexandria, he practiced with the law firm of DLA Piper LLP (US) in Washington D.C. focusing on corporate finance and securities law and served as an Attorney-Advisor in the Division of Corporation Finance at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. Neil holds a Bachelor of Science (BSBA) degree in Finance from the University of Florida, a Juris Doctor (JD) from Villanova University School of Law and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Securities and Financial Regulation from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments

Advisory Board on Respiratory Care

  • Hollee Freeman, PhD of Richmond, Executive Director, MathScience Innovation Center

Auctioneers Board

  • William McGuire Farmer of Salem, General Manager, Farmer Auctions
  • Michael S. Phillips of Richmond, Program Coordinator, Virginia Clean Cities and Project Manager for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
  • Linda W. Terry, AARE, CAI, GRI of Richmond, Broker/Auctioneer/Partner, Tranzon FOX

Board of Forestry

  • D. Keith Drohan of Ruther Glen, Manager-Market Origination, Dominion Generation
  • James Harder of Blacksburg, PhD Candidate, Center for Public Administration and Policy, Virginia Tech
  • J. Kenneth Morgan, Jr.* of Clarksville, Chairman of the Board, Morgan Lumber Company, Inc., President, Sunrise Shavings, LLC and Vice President, Morgan Lumber Sales, LLC

Board of Nursing

  • Joana C. Garcia,  LCDR, United States Navy (Ret.) of Fairfax Station

  • Marie F. Gerardo, MS, RN, ANP-BC of Midlothian, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Virginia Commonwealth University/MCV, House Calls/Transitional Care Manager

  • Jean Ellis Holmes* of Prince George, Retired Higher Ed Administrator

  • Jennifer Marie Phelps, LPNIII/QMHPA of Lynchburg, PACT Nurse, HORIZON Behavioral Health / Central Virginia Community Services

  • Leslie S. Rubio of Richmond, Comptroller, Premier Appraisal Group, Inc.

Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

  • Betty Jo Foster, EdD* of Ringgold, Adjunct Professor, Danville Community College

  • Chris A. Lumsden, MHA, FACHE of South Boston, President, Halifax Regional Health System

The Library Board

  • The Honorable Jon Bowerbank* of Rosedale, Chairman, Russell County Board of Supervisors, President / CEO / Owner at EMATS, Inc.

  • Kristin Cabral, JD of McLean, Community Leader

  • M. David Skiles* of Centreville, Government Relations Advisor & Director of Northern Virginia Client Services, The Vectre Corporation

Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission

  • Rebecca Coleman of Gate City, Consultant, Regional Adult Educational Program, Lee, Scott, Wise and Norton City Public Schools and former Chief of Staff, Congressman Rick Boucher
  • Missy Neff Gould of Danville, Market Director Community & Government Relations, LifePoint Hospitals
  • The Honorable Franklin D. Harris of Amelia, Member, Amelia County Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Edward Owens of South Boston, Mayor, Town of South Boston and Owner, Edward Owens Agency
Treasury Board

  • Douglas Densmore of Roanoke, Attorney, The Law Firm of CowanPerry P.C.
  • William W. Harrison, Jr.* of Virginia Beach, Partner, Williams Mullen
  • Lou Mejia of Alexandria, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP

Virginia Apprenticeship Council

  • Robert B. Benson of King George, Superintendent, King George County Schools

Virginia Board for Asbestos, Lead and Home Inspectors

  • Colleen Becker, CIH, CSP* of Williamsburg, Certified Industrial Hygienist, Certified Safety Professional and General Manager, Marine Chemist Service, Inc.

Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children – Virginia Compact Commissioner

  • Steven R. StaplesEd.D. of Williamsburg, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia Department of Education

*Denotes reappointments

Governor McAuliffe Congratulates Nine Virginia Counties

Map of USA with Virginia highlighted
Map of USA with Virginia highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
~ Successfully using technology to serve citizens garners national awards~

RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe today congratulated nine Virginia counties that received top rankings in the 2014 Digital Counties Survey.

“These counties were recognized from among hundreds of counties that participated in the survey for successfully using technology for citizen engagement, policy, data and operations,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Technology presents significant opportunities for producing more efficient and effective services to citizens. It strengthens the Commonwealth and improves our prospects for economic development. I commend these local governments for their use of technology and congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”

In the “Up to 150,000 population category,” Roanoke County received first-place honors for “projects around geographic information systems (GIS), radio and governance. The county’s GIS portal showcases mapping services spanning from property tax applications to voting maps and three-dimensional views of the land.”

Winners also included:
·       Up to 150,000 population category: Albemarle, second; Gloucester, sixth; Franklin, seventh; and Montgomery, 10th. Virginia counties took half of the top honors in this category.
·       150,000-249,999 population: Arlington County, fourth place
·       250,000-499,999 population: Loudoun County, second place; and, Chesterfield County, seventh place
·       500,000 or more population: Fairfax County, third place

The survey is conducted by the Center for Digital Government in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo). Awards were announced this week at the 79th annual NACoconference in New Orleans. 

Governor McAuliffe Announces 250 New Jobs for Grayson County

Map of Virginia highlighting Grayson County
Map of Virginia highlighting Grayson County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
~ Core Health & Fitness LLC to invest $2 million in commercial fitness products manufacturing operation~ 

RICHMOND - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Core Health & Fitness LLC, a leader in developing and marketing advanced strength and cardio equipment for the fitness industry, will invest $2 million to expand the former Med-Fit operation in Grayson County. The facility has manufactured Nautilus commercial products for more than 34 years. Virginia successfully competed against California and China for the project, which will create 250 new jobs.

Speaking about the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “The addition of Core Health & Fitness LLC to Grayson County’s corporate roster is tremendous for a region that has suffered from recent employment loss. With this investment, the company will build on the existing product line and revitalize an operation that has manufactured Nautilus commercial products for more than three decades, creating 250 new, valuable jobs. Grayson County’s history in producing commercial fitness, wellness and rehabilitation products makes it a great fit for Core Health & Fitness, and we are confident that this project will be of great economic benefit to Southwest Virginia.”

“We welcome Core Health & Fitness to Grayson County and to Virginia,” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “Today’s announcement of 250 jobs and a new corporate tenant for the former Med-Fit facility comes at a fortuitous time for a region that continues its economic rebound. We remain ready to do what we can to help facilitate the company’s success in Grayson County.”

Core Health & Fitness LLC is a leader in developing and marketing advanced strength and cardio equipment for the fitness industry. Headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, the company markets and distributes the legendary StairMaster StepMill,® StairMaster StairCimber®, Schwinn® indoor cycling bikes, Star Trac® strength and cardio products and Spinner® bikes worldwide. 

“We are excited to be able to acquire the Nautilus commercial licensing rights and to be able to manufacture world-renowned strength products in Independence, Virginia,” said Dustin Grosz, Core Health & Fitness President and Chief Operating Officer. “The skilled workforce has consistently built some of the best, if not the best, strength fitness equipment in the world. This campus will become our major, world-wide strength manufacturing hub. We are extremely pleased with the amount of support we have received from the Town of Independence, Grayson County and State of Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked closely with Grayson County and Virginia’s aCorridor to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor McAuliffe approved a $350,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Grayson County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $1.045 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project. Additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“We are elated that a world-class company such as Core Health & Fitness has chosen to carry on the storied tradition of Nautilus, and we are extremely honored to welcome them into our business community,” said John K. Brewer, Chairman, Grayson County Board of Supervisors. “This project means so much to Grayson County, and our community will forever be grateful for all the support and assistance received from Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Jones, Senator Carrico, Delegate O’Quinn, the Virginia Tobacco Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Virginia’s aCorridor that made this deal possible.” 

"I am excited about today's announcement by Core Health & Fitness,” said Senator Bill Carrico, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission and Senate District Representative. “It is an answer to many prayers by the Grayson County families affected by recent job losses and income reductions. I would like to congratulate all the county leaders who worked tirelessly to make this investment a reality.  Since day one of the Med-Fit job losses, Grayson County leaders started the process of finding a solution, and today their efforts have paid off in the form of 250 quality jobs and $2 million in new capital investments. On behalf of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, we are so pleased to have played a $1 million role in this success story, which will provide much-needed opportunities to the great citizens of Grayson County for years to come."