AMHERST, Va. - For several years, the Central Virginia Training Center employed one of the biggest workforces in Amherst County.
"At one point, one of the largest employers in the area. And it generated about $87 million economic activity; throughout the region, so all the surrounding counties and Lynchburg city," Dean Rodgers, county administrator, said.
The training center will close in 2020. Rodgers is calling this a big hit to the economy. And it's why he and Lynchburg city leaders are looking to plan ahead.
"In order to determine the highest and best use for that property so that we know who to market it to," Rodgers said.
With the help of the Lynchburg Business Alliance, a consultant looked at the property and estimated it will take $500,000 to prepare a redevelopment plan. The group is looking to apply for a $250,000 grant from the state. To get it they'll have to match that price. Right now, they already have $100,000 and need $150,000 more.
"We have made a request to the planning district commission," Rodgers said.
"Our executive committee has recommended at least a 1 to 1 match and that will be considered tomorrow (Thursday) night whether or not we go with the 100,000 or 150,000 match," said Gary Christie, the executive director of Central Virginia Planning District Commission.
Leaders with the commission say they are confident the council will support the idea once they hear about it.
"It's very important for us regionally to replace that hole in our economy," Rodgers said.
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