Roanoke County announced on Monday that Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-9th) has secured $820,000 in new funding for a project to increase the Wood Haven Technology Park’s competitiveness for industry. The park is located near the I-81 and I-581 interchange.
Roanoke County made a Community Project Funding request to fund the extension of additional water utility capacity to the Wood Haven Technology Park. The county said the funds will go toward improving the site’s water infrastructure to make it more attractive for future development.
“I was glad to submit this federal funding request to increase the water supply to Wood Haven Technology Park,” Griffith said. “The funds will enhance available utility capacity, hopefully accelerating the property’s speed to market and providing economic benefits to the entire Roanoke Region.”
Roanoke County requested these funds to address the need for greater water capacity at the site. Wood Haven Technology Park has been seeing greater interest from site selectors.
The county said it is clear that many projects are requiring large water and sewer utility capacities. Many of the requirements for significant utility usage correspond with significant capital investment and high-wage employment creation. The proposed project seeks to increase water supply to the 110-acre site, making it significantly more attractive to water-intensive business operations that may be interested in establishing a facility in the park.
“On behalf of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors I want to thank Congressman Griffith and his staff for securing this additional funding to make one of the premier economic development sites in our region even better,” Roanoke County Administrator Richard L. Caywood said in a statement.
Roanoke County said Wood Haven Technology Park is ideally situated in relation to transportation infrastructure, making it an attractive site, and the regional capacity of water availability has long been a regional advantage.
Currently, water is provided to the site by the Western Virginia Water Authority with water sourced from Spring Hollow. The new work will bore under I-81 to install a second line that offers a redundant supply of water, dramatically increasing the water capacity available to Wood Haven Technology Park.
The county hopes the increase will enhance available utility capacity, strengthen speed to market and contribute to a future economic win for the entire Roanoke Region, which it said it hopes will lead to a significant capital investment and creation of additional high-wage employment opportunity for regional residents.
“This is excellent news for the economic landscape,” John Hull, executive director of the Roanoke Region Partnership, said. “It’s not uncommon for the Partnership to work with companies seeking expansions that require significant water utilities. This project will make the region more competitive for business investment, and thus, better employment opportunity.”
“The Water Authority provides quality utility services to meet our customers’ needs and enhance our regional community. This water line extension supports our long-range plan to increase water distribution resiliency and fire protection for residents and makes this area of the county even more attractive for future investment in our community,” Michael T. McEvoy, executive director at the Western Virginia Water Authority, added.
The $820,000 award, coupled with $670,000 provided by the Western Virginia Water Authority, brings the total project cost to $1,490,000. The authority will administer the work for the proposed project, which it hopes to have completed by the end of 2023.