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Barrows Mill Road project would aid Kilgour, prospective firms
A motorist turns onto Nautica Way from Barrows Mill Road on Thursday afternoon. The Henry County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution Tuesday to seek state funds to help improve the road to better serve Kilgour Industries, as well as other businesses looking to locate in the Patriot Centre industrial park. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Improvements to Barrows Mill Road will aid not only Kilgour Industries, but also other businesses looking to locate in the Patriot Centre industrial park, according to Henry County Administrator Tim Hall.
At a Tuesday meeting of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, the board approved a resolution seeking state funds to improve Barrows Mill Road to better serve Kilgour, a U.K.-based aerospace company that plans to invest $27.3 million in a new facility in Patriot Centre and hire 155 people.
The board resolution asks the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) to consider allocating $650,000 in Economic Development Access (EDA) funds for the project. The EDA program provides funds for road improvements to provide access for new or expanding industries.
The CTB funding would require a county contribution of $150,000.
The goal, Hall said, is to widen and improve a roughly 3?4-mile stretch of Barrows Mill Road between the entrance to Kilgour’s lot and Nautica Way.
“We’re trying to get it to suitable condition and width for industrial traffic,” Hall said. “It does a couple of things for us: it provides better access for Kilgour” and also makes the road suitable for additional industrial and advanced manufacturing traffic that it will see as Patriot Centre grows in the future.
“If all goes well,” Hall said, “there’s going to be a significant increase in traffic both through Barrows Mill Road and in the industrial park. It’s hard to sell the possibility (of locating in the park) to companies if we don’t tell them we’re going to improve the road and bring it up to the standards they expect.”
Portions of Barrows Mill Road are residential, Hall said, including an area north of Patriot Centre and the part that runs through Martinsville. However, he said, there are no residences on the 3?4-mile stretch the county hopes to widen.
As the Patriot Centre grows, Hall said, more of Barrows Mill Road might need to be widened, but the goal would be to funnel as much traffic as possible through Patriot Centre and on to Kings Mountain Road.
The road improvements are important to the further expansion of the Patriot Centre, Hall said.
“I think that the improvements would have to take place regardless of whether the grant is received,” he said. “If it’s not (received), we’ll have to weigh the cost?benefit of doing” the improvements.
Kilgour will not wait for the road to be widened to begin construction of its facility, according to Hall. Both projects likely will take place at the same time, he added.
The rough-graded lot that Kilgour plans to build on, Hall said, is adjacent to Barrows Mill Road, just north of an AEP substation. The county is in the process of defining a site plan with Kilgour, and some surveying will need to be done before construction can begin, Hall said.
Kilgour hopes to have the new facility up and running by mid- or third-quarter 2015, he said.
Kilgour Industries CEO Ray Kilgour is “eager to get started, be here and start hiring folks,” Hall said.