The Chesterfield Economic Development Authority (CEDA) works in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development to help create new jobs, expand the tax base and diversify the economy of Chesterfield County.
Created in 1968, the CEDA is chartered through a state law that allows cities and counties to create industrial or economic development authorities with wide-ranging powers, not available to local governments, in order to facilitate economic development opportunities within the community.
Among other things, the CEDA has the power to buy, sell and develop land for business parks or other economic development purposes. It can also build facilities for sale or lease to private companies; issue taxable and tax-exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds either to finance CEDA projects or to provide financing for facilities and machinery by a private company; and provide incentives to attract new companies to Chesterfield County or to induce existing companies to expand.
Two of the CEDA’s most active economic development projects are oversight of development of Meadowville Technology Park and participation in the redevelopment of the former Cloverleaf Mall as Stonebridge.
The CEDA is careful to spend public dollars wisely and recognizes, evaluates, and takes very seriously the implications of competing with the private sector to meet short and long-term economic development goals and objectives.
When the CEDA takes on a developer’s role, it generally does so in order to stimulate opportunities that would, ordinarily, be slow to occur with private developers that may be unwilling or unable to commit financial resources and patiently wait for a return on investment. Additionally, private developers are often reluctant to provide the incentives that are needed to promote economic development in today’s intensely competitive environment.
Industrial Revenue Bonds issued by the CEDA must be repaid by the company benefiting from the bond, either directly or through application of lease payments to the bonds issued by the CEDA.
Upon recommendation of the Economic Development staff, the CEDA can also provide financial incentives to new or expanding companies to enhance Chesterfield’s position in attracting qualified projects. Chesterfield’s use of incentives in economic development deals is very judicious, and only offered after a thorough cost-benefit analysis has been done to ensure that increased tax revenue and jobs created by the company will meet or exceed the value of the incentives within a prescribed timeframe. This aggressive yet careful approach to economic development incentives has allowed Chesterfield County to compete globally and expand the business tax base.
The CEDA is made up of a seven member Board that is appointed by the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. Members are appointed for four-years, with staggered terms that allow for ongoing continuity on the CEDA Board. Members are often appointed from among the County’s business leaders, with special consideration given to those with a range of expertise including real estate, finance and law.
The CEDA Board elects a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other officers annually. Much of the work of the CEDA is accomplished through a committee structure, generally comprised of one or two CEDA members, staff, and consultants (when appropriate). Committees or sub-committees make recommendations to the CEDA Board, which sets policy and takes public action on those recommendations.
The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has final control over most of the decisions of the CEDA, including those involving economic development incentives or sale/purchase of land. While most of the annual operating budget for the CEDA is funded by revenue generated from application fees and closings of Industrial Revenue Bonds that come before the Authority, the BOS may make special appropriations during the year to finance other CEDA activities.
The Chesterfield EDA holds open public meetings on the third Thursday of every month at 3:00 p.m. These meetings are held at the Chesterfield County Economic Development Office, 9401 Courthouse Road, Suite B, Chesterfield, VA, 23832, (804) 318-8550.
Chesterfield Economic Development Authority Board Members
- Art Heinz, Chair, board member since 2011. President, Heinz Insurance and Financial Services.
- John Cogbill, Vice-Chair, board member since 2017. Retired Attorney, McGuire Woods.
- Harril Whitehurst, Treasurer, board member since July 2008. CFO of Village Bank.
- Terri Cofer Beirne, Secretary, board member since June 2007. Eastern Counsel for the Wine Institute.
- John W. Hughes, Assistant Secretary, board member since October 1997. Partner in Drake Hughes and Associates Insurance Company and Financial Consulting.
- Lloyd A. Lenhart, board member since December 2004. Community Relations Coordinator at Southside Electric Cooperative.
- Dale Patton, board member since July 2018. President of Old Mansion.
- John O’Neill, Esquire, Bond Counsel. Managing Partner, Richmond Office, Hunton and Williams Attorneys specializing in Public Finance.