|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||1||$275,000|
Once the heart of a major tobacco growing region, the town of Boydton, Virginia, has struggled with long-term economic distress. Since the beginning of 2012, six industries and/or businesses in Mecklenburg County have closed or had significant layoffs, resulting in the loss of 852 jobs, with a total of 1,063 jobs having been lost in the Southside Planning District Commission.
One recent economic bright spot was the establishment of a Microsoft data center in 2010. When Microsoft expressed interest in further expanding in southern Virginia, and thus bringing new jobs to the region, those possibilities were limited by available wastewater capacity. The proposed data center expansion required large amounts of cooling water. While water is recycled, it can only be used several times, at which point the water must be discharged into the sewer system. In addition, the regional wastewater plant equipment was at the end of its useful life, and additional upgrades were required to accommodate variable flows and loading conditions. Without assurance of continued wastewater capacity, future expansion at Microsoft is jeopardized, as is expansion at other area businesses.
In FY 2015, EDA awarded nearly $2 million to fund construction of a new sewer line and upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment system in Boydton. The expanded and renewed facilities will allow for the expansion of the Microsoft Data Center as well as permit the future redevelopment of the former correctional facility into a regional industrial park addressing the critical need for employment opportunities in the Southside Virginia region.