The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority took a look at the state of its finances at a Friday morning meeting in the IDA boardroom.

IDA board treasurer Rick Harrell shared with the board in his report on the organization’s June finances that the IDA has $237,000 in its cash operating budget. That figure is down from May’s cash operating budget of $535,646.

Despite not having a large sum of funds in cash operating, Harrell said the IDA has more equity due to capital investments from the past year.

“We just had major capital investments this fiscal year that required a lot of IDA dollars,” Kristy Johnson further explained. Johnson is the former IDA interim executive director who assists with the organization’s day-to-day operations.

Last year, construction of a 50,000-square-foot shell building at the entrance of Southern Virginia Technology Park was completed. The shell building was constructed for the purpose of attracting new industry to Halifax County. The shell building’s price tag was $3.6 million.

In addition, the IDA contributed financially to the upfit of the former Blue Ridge Beverage building on Houghton Avenue in South Boston for the opening of Golden Piedmont Labs, a large-scale hemp processing and cannabidiol extraction facility. That upfit was completed last year, as well.

The board voted in a unanimous vote to approve the June financial report at Friday’s meeting.

At its June meeting, the IDA approved its budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The $2,314,341.80 budget was sliced in half from the previous fiscal year’s budget of $4,880,429.

The board also discussed whether or not to continue a $1 million line of credit with Benchmark Community Bank to be used for capital projects or emergency maintenance. The line of credit was due to expire the first of July but has been given a short extension, IDA interim executive director Mike Davidson told the board.

Davidson shared his view that the line of credit could be useful to the IDA if any emergency maintenance needs in the buildings it owns, such as repair of air conditioning units or roof repairs, arise.

“That line of credit was like a lifeline,” Davidson said.

Johnson also noted the line of credit originally was opened for costs associated with the shell building, not for “open-ended use.” Davidson suggested the line of credit could be earmarked only for capital projects and emergency maintenance. Halifax County administrator Scott Simpson agreed with that recommendation, stating the board of supervisors would be more likely to sign off on the line of credit if stipulations on its use were put in place.

“I think a few administrative protocols would put everybody’s minds at ease,” Simpson said.

Simpson also suggested the IDA consider a smaller line of credit, such as $500,000, instead of $1 million.

The IDA board verbally consented to continue with the line of credit at Friday’s meeting, but the item will come back before the board for a final vote after the board of supervisors takes a vote on it.

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at