Makemie Park Sewer Planning Grant Approved; Accomack Board Extends COVID-19 Emergency Ordinance

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By Carol Vaughn —

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors accepted a planning grant for sewer improvements in the Makemie Park community and authorized the county administrator to negotiate with the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission for administration services for the grant.
The initial award for the Community Development Block Grant is up to $3,000, with up to $30,000 available based on performance.
The goal is to begin design of alternative septic systems for up to 28 households. The existing community sewer system has failed.
The planning work is to be completed by April 30.
The board approved an amendment to an ordinance it adopted June 17, which implemented procedures to ensure continuity of county government during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action confirms the declaration of a local state of emergency and extends the provisions of the original ordinance for up to six more months.
The board has been meeting at Metompkin Elementary School’s cafeteria rather than the much smaller board chambers, with social distancing and other safety protocols in place, since it resumed in-person meetings.
The Accomack County Economic Development Authority is recommending the board approve awarding Sentinel Robotic Solutions the county’s first Economic Development Investment Program grant, in the amount of up to $236,500.
The grant program, approved by the board in November, was established to promote economic development by providing incentive grants to new businesses looking to locate in Accomack County or existing businesses wanting to relocate or expand their facilities.
Both the EDA and the board of supervisors must approve grant awards.
Under the program, the board appropriates money to the EDA, which uses it to award grants.
To be eligible, taxes and other revenue generated by the business and collected by the county have to exceed the grant amount no later than 80 months from when the business begins operations in the new, relocated, or expanded facility. For every grant dollar received, the business must spend $23 on capital investments, with at least half spent within a year of receiving the grant. For every $10,000 received in grant funds, the business must create at least one new, permanent, full-time job in the county, or must create at least 10 new jobs within a year of receiving the grant.
Businesses located at the airport or in the industrial park only have to meet one of the three criteria.
The board will discuss the award to Sentinel Robotic Solutions at its organizational meeting Jan. 6.
The company in a press release Dec. 10 announced it recently demonstrated ability to provide video, voice, and data from a ship around 90 nautical miles over the horizon to a land-based Navy operations center on Wallops Island.
Peter Bale, chief executive officer of SRS, said in the release, “This is the start of a bright future for the implementation of communication and range instrumentation technologies to Wallops Island.”
The board also approved extending a $2-per-hour hazard pay bonus to former employees who worked with the public between March 1 and June 30. The board in August approved the hazard pay but did not include employees who had left their jobs.