On Wednesday the Washington County, Virginia Board of Supervisors and the Bristol, Virginia City Council reached an agreement concerning the Falls development at Exit 5.
This comes after months of negotiations between the two governing boards.
We learned the agreement will be executed in two parts, beginning with the county's commitment to drop litigation that would prevent the project from moving forward. The agreement also states that city will allow the designated development of regional impact to expand to include 180 acres of property near Exit 7 in the county.
The agreement includes city-county revenue sharing the development, which includes a 50-50 share of the generated tax revenue any from businesses that move from the county to the city or vice-versa.
Washington County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Dulcia Mumpower believes that the agreement will have the greatest impact on the lives of the people who live and work in the area. "I think it's a wonderful beginning for us to have regional cooperation and work together with city to bring jobs into the area. I think we'll make a wonderful team and we will make a lot of wonderful things happen for our citizens," said Mumpower.
Bristol, Virginia Mayor Guy Odum tells News 5 that give and take is good, but they will maintain their own identity. "Historically the city and the county have competed for retail business and we'll still do some of that. We are still going to look out for the city and get some of the business, but they can do theirs too. But, we are going to cooperate in the effort of getting the legislation passed," said Odum.
Mayor Odum tells News 5 a home-improvement retailer is already in negotiations with the Falls developer; if the retailer moves, the county would lose revenue.
The agreement will now head to the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond.