Sawmill could benefit economy

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced the opening of a new sawmill in Halifax County, bringing good competition to Charlotte County and the potential for more jobs

According to Miller Adams, an area forester with the state’s forestry department, even though the mill is not in Charlotte County, some wood will find its way there to be processed.

“The company will create 13 new jobs in the county and source 75 percent of its timber needs from Virginia landowners,” the governor’s release stated. “This is the first economic development announcement in Halifax County during the McAuliffe administration and the first AFID (Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development) facility grant announcement for the county.”

Adams said the new sawmill will be good for the industry and forest landowners. He said the forestry community within the area is fortunate that there’s a

lot of market for wood projects.

He said some of the projects in the local area consist of lumber, fuel and paper.

“We’re in an area with a lot of wood-using entities,” said Adams.

The release stated Slick Rock Lumber would would invest $535,000 in site improvements and equipment for the new sawmill, which would be a process hardwood and softwood.

“The company’s primary products will be railroad ties and large planks to be made into mats for use by utility, construction and logging companies,” the release stated. “Slick Rock is also committing to purchase more than $5 million of Virginia timber over the next three years, or 75 percent of the forestry inputs needed for the new production venture.”

Adams said the competition is good for Charlotte County.

Del. James Edmunds, who represents Halifax and Charlotte counties in the Virginia House of Delegates, said, “I’m delighted that Slick Rock Lumber will receive this AFID grant. It is this very type of small business growth that will position southern Virginia to grow economically and it is a perfect fit for our local forestry industry. I look forward to watching them grow.”

The release stated that a $12,000 grant from the Governor’s AFID Fund will assist in development of the project.