LEBANON, VA – AUGUST 8, 2023 – An up to $25,000 grant to be used to conduct a feasibility study examining the development of a road from Laurel Bed Lake between Lebanon and Rosedale was recently closed between the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) and the Russell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA).

“VCEDA is pleased to support the Russell County IDA request for funding for this study which will look at the benefits of such a road and the projected cost for it in detail,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The IDA application projects the impact to tourism in the county if the road is developed will be significant.”

According to the application, Laurel Bed Lake is the “most pristine in the state” and the 20,000 acres surrounding it are said to have “true wilderness features and diverse flora and fauna.”

As proposed, the road would come out at the Laurel Bed Lake dam. The study would determine if there is sufficient support by landowners and agencies involved to allow for its construction which in turn would support hunting, fishing, non-motorized boating, hiking, picnicking and other low impact activities consistent with wildlife management, the application noted.

“Russell County IDA is invested in providing opportunities within the county for growth and diversity,” said Ernie McFaddin, Russell County IDA executive director. “The Laurel Bed Lake Road feasibility study is an opportunity to evaluate a new access point to a great resource within the county. With the support of VCEDA, we are anxious to move forward with this exciting project.”

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.