Southside Planning District Commission

Serving Brunswick, Halifax, & Mecklenburg Counties, and the towns of South Boston & South Hill, VA

Featured Projects

South Boston Energy Project

Southside PDC secures grant funds for a new wood waste-fired biomass electric generating facility.

South Boston Energy projectTractor-trailer rigs packed with wood waste are lifted high in the sky while the contents are emptied to use as fuel at the new South Boston Energy Plant, which will use renewable biofuels to generate power for customers of the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC). Photo courtesy of the News and Record, South Boston/Halifax County, VA."Waste not, want not," goes the age old adage that suits the South Boston Energy Project. South Boston Energy is partnering with Halifax County Service Authority and Halifax County to turn waste, by-products and residue into a useable energy source. The benefit is twofold: the generating of needed electricity and the disposal of unneeded wastes. The first loads of wood waste were delivered at the new power plant in March.

The project is made possible by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development prepared by Southside Planning District Commission on behalf of Halifax County. The $650,000 grant was used to construct off-site improvements to serve South Boston Energy, a 49.9 megawatt biomass-fueled power plant located on a 100-acre brownfield site near South Boston, Virginia. The new wood-fired power plant will have the capacity to burn as much as 600,000 tons of wood waste annually to generate renewable electric energy to serve the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC).

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Halifax Awarded Funds for Boat Ramp Improvement

The Town of Halifax is starting off 2015 with a bang after being awarded a $90,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF).  The grant will allow Halifax to grow their Public Boating Access Facilities by constructing two boat ramps along the Banister Lake.

The existing boat ramp at Banister Lake, has been in use for over 30 years, and is in need of major upgrades. The courtesy pier also needs to be replaced as the site is not currently ADA compliant.

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Brunswick County Byways Visitor & Interpretive Center Project

SPDC assists with Tobacco Commission & National Scenic Byways Project grants

Brunswick Byways Visitors CenterBrunswick Byways Visitors Center artist renderingWith the assistance of the Southside Planning District Commission, the County of Brunswick received a $458,375 Economic Development grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission in October 2010, and the County received a $638,479 National Scenic Byways Project grant from the Department of Transportation in November 2011 to plan and construct a comprehensive tourist welcome center with interpretive displays, maps, brochures, and restroom amenities.

Brunswick County purchased the once regional office building of the International Paper Company situated on 1.7 acres for use as the Brunswick Byways Visitors Center. Strategically located on Highway 46 (Christanna Highway), the project site is well situated to attract and serve travelers.

Highway 46 is a Virginia Byway and is a gateway to Lake Gaston. The Brunswick Byways Visitors Center site is located on a prominent hilltop location within one mile of the Fort Christanna Historical Park and a planned canoe trail access on the Meherrin River, a State Scenic River. The site is approximately 3 miles south of U.S. Route 58 and the Town of Lawrenceville, and is 10 miles south of Interstate 85.

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A Bright Smile on the Face of Halifax County

Southside PDC Secures Grant Funding for New Dental Clinic

Dental Clinic Floss Cutting Jan 2013 041"Cutting the Floss" photo courtesy of The News & RecordUntil recently, Halifax County residents had to get in line for affordable dental care. Thanks to the efforts of Halifax Regional Health Services and their partners, a new dental clinic has opened inside South Boston's Halifax Primary Care.

The need for affordable dental care was great in the Halifax region. The HRHS reported about 1,000 lower income residents annually visit the ER with dental complaints, instead of a dentist, because they couldn't afford dental care and had no dental insurance. Before the opening of the Halifax Dental Clinic only two dentists in the region were using Smiles for Children/Medicaid. Of those two, the first was not taking new patients and the second had a waiting list.

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Southside PDC Welcomes Section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail

Trail runs along Dan River and behind Berry Hill Plantation

Tobacco Heritage Trail in South Boston, VAHorseback riders, cyclers, joggers and hikers (and dogs!) of all ages enjoy the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

In the Fall of 2012, the Southside PDC, partnered with Roanoke River Rails-to-Trails, Inc. to develop a brand new section of the Tobacco Heritage Trail (THT) in South Boston, VA. Southside PDC worked closely with engineers from Anderson & Associates on the design and direction of this second phase of the trail project. The PDC has been responsible for obtaining grant monies for the purchase of abandoned railroad corridor and trail construction. Regional Planner, Robyn Fowler, oversaw the progress of the South Boston sec- tion, liaising with engineers, contractors, and VDOT representatives.

Several historic features of this segment of the THT make the South Boston section a trail worth visiting! The trailhead is situated at the base of a former cotton mill. All that remains of the mill are two brick towers marking the once thriving cotton industry in South Boston. A short 0.4 miles from the trailhead is the Prizery, which used to be a tobacco warehouse.

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