BREAKS, VA – JULY 3, 2019 – An up to $15,137.60 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Breaks Interstate Park was approved last week during a meeting of the VCEDA board of directors.
The funds will be used to finance the purchase and installation of radio equipment, window tint in the park’s Rhododendron Restaurant and to conduct a geotechnical survey to determine the suitability of a site within the park for a new swimming pool or water feature.
The funds come from the Civil Penalties Funds established by the Virginia legislature and collected by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The code requires DMME to transfer 50 percent of the civil penalties funds its collects to VCEDA specifically to be used for the purposes of developing infrastructure and improvements at the Breaks Interstate Park.
“We are pleased to assist the park in continuing to grow and improve,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “The Breaks Interstate Park is one of the premier tourism destinations in our region.”
“We are deeply grateful to VCEDA for its support through the years,” said Breaks Park Superintendent Austin Bradley. “This grant will assist us in improving communications within the park, add to the Rhododendron Restaurant and assist us in exploring a location for a new swimming pool or other water feature in the park.”
The purchase and installation of a radio base station and repeater will assist park rangers in serving park visitors.
Bradley noted the application of UV blocking window tint to the windows at the Rhododendron Restaurant will serve to improve guest experiences at the restaurant while at the same time protecting the new floor which was recently installed utilizing previous VCEDA funding.
Lastly, he noted, a geotechnical survey in the current water park area on approximately 3,200 square feet of undisturbed ground will assist the park in determining that site’s suitability as a location for a new swimming pool or other water feature.
The park currently employs nine full-time and 120 part-time workers. The application projects a total of 11 full-time and 130 part-time jobs within two years.
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.vaceda.org or www.e-Region.org.