Friday, April 4, 2014

Congressman Robert Hurt and Virginia Colleagues Applaud Progress of Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre


Friday, April 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Virginia) released the following statement in response to the recent news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to the Henry County Industrial Development Authority to proceed with development of the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre, a major economic development initiative:


"I was pleased to hear this excellent news for Henry County, and thank our local officials in Martinsville and Henry County who have worked diligently to bring jobs to Southside Virginia despite the bureaucratic red tape that continually stalled their progress.  I look forward to Commonwealth Crossing's development and the jobs it will bring to area residents. 


"It is my hope that the Corps will now turn its attention to approving the permit for Pittsylvania County's Berry Hill Mega Park, which is currently at a standstill because of the same unnecessary red tape that stalled Commonwealth Crossing.  To remedy these problems permanently, I will continue working with my Virginia colleagues to pass the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act, which will ensure that future economic development projects do not face the same regulatory hurdles as Commonwealth Crossing and Berry Hill and instead can focus on creating jobs for Virginians."


Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said, "I'm so pleased that we can finally move forward with the Commonwealth Crossing Business Center and help create jobs for Southside.  It shouldn't have been this difficult but I'm proud Senator Kaine and Representatives Hurt and Griffith and I were able to work with state and local officials to get this done.  This is a victory for Martinsville and Henry County."


Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) added, "This is welcome and long-overdue news for Southern Virginia.  Martinsville and Henry County worked tirelessly and invested heavily to bring the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre to fruition.  From the beginning, Senator Warner and I worked together with Congressmen Hurt and Griffith to move this process forward. I'm proud of this bipartisan effort, appreciative that the Corps worked with us to get to 'yes,' and excited for the development and employment prospects this creates in Southern Virginia."


Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) said, "Congratulations to Martinsville and Henry County on the approval of the Commonwealth Crossing permit.  I applaud local officials, the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, and others in this community for their dedication to overcoming regulatory roadblocks, advancing this important project, and creating jobs in Southern Virginia.  It was very good working as a team with our United States Senators and Congressman Hurt on this project.  While this is very good news, our work continues on advancing a legislative solution to the underlying issue in an effort to see that projects like this one are no longer held up because of 'speculative development' issues."


The Henry County Industrial Development Authority has announced that a permit has been presented for the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  Henry County and the Martinsville-Henry Co. Economic Development Corp. have long worked to secure a permit from the USACE for site preparation to attract job-creating manufacturing firms to the county. 


Congressman Robert Hurt, along with Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Congressman Morgan Griffith, introduced legislation to address the flawed regulatory interpretation of the Corps that has led to the longstanding controversy in Henry and Pittsylvania counties.  The Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act (H.R. 2937) was introduced in August 2013 and would allow for job creation at economic development sites while remaining in line with commonsense environmental protections.