CLINTWOOD, VA – JUNE 3, 2021 An up to $1.175 million loan to the Dickenson County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to be used to finance the purchase of the former Mountain Forest Products chip mill site was closed recently by the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA).

The property, located adjacent to the IDA’s Red Onion industrial site, is comprised of some 433.17 acres of real estate located in Dickenson and Wise counties. In addition to the land, the site houses three steel frame structures, which are approximately 22,545, 3,974, and 3,544 square feet in size. 

“VCEDA was pleased to make this loan available to the Dickenson County IDA,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “It provides the county IDA with a significant piece of property to market to potential economic development prospects.”

The property has three phase power, natural gas, redundant broadband, public water and public sewer.  It also has a rail siding on site. Located near the intersection of State Route 361 which connects with State Route 83, the property is just a few miles to either Clintwood, Va., or Pound, Va.

Potential also exists for geothermal cooling from nearby abandoned coal mines, which the IDA has indicated could make the site attractive for data centers. 

“The IDA saw a noticeable and worrisome need for high quality industrial sites that could be made ready for immediate development,” said Dickenson County IDA Chairman Larry Yates about the IDA decision to purchase the chip mill property at Red Onion. “Recently steps have been taken to ensure the needed infrastructure, electrical, water, sewer and broadband would be extended to those areas.

“In order to attract new businesses and related jobs, our county needs to be prepared and have sites that are ready,” Yates added. “Dickenson County needs to have site certification though partners like the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and others who can help encourage and recruit companies looking to locate in a county with rich cultural and recreational opportunities.”

Dickenson County Board of Supervisors Chairman Josh Evans said the acquisition of the property by the IDA gives the county something to offer to companies looking for land on which to locate.

“On behalf of our board, we are grateful for VCEDA’s assistance in securing the chip mill property,” Evans said. “The reality of economic development in SWVA is that we must have something to offer companies looking at our area.

“This property allows us to compete on a nationwide scale for jobs,” Evans continued. “This acquisition places Dickenson County in a position to aggressively recruit high paying employers to locate here. We are committed to bringing jobs to Dickenson County.”

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. or