BRISTOL, Va. - On Wednesday Virginia governor stopped at the Falls development in Bristol, Virginia for a ceremonial signing of a bill that clears one more hurdle for the city.
As crews continue to break up rock at the Falls site, the City of Bristol, Virginia continues to overcome financial obstacles. "We are already creating jobs and an economic success for the City of Bristol," says Bristol, Virginia mayor Guy Odum.
Odum tells us the signing of the bill by Governor Terry McAuliffe is a step in the right direction for all of Southwest Virginia. "An industrial tool to bring in manufacturing and bring in industry to bring in jobs people move to this area because of what we've got going on at this site,"" he said.
The governor pushed a bill through the Virginia legislature to allow the City of Bristol to get direct tax revenue from the development. "I made a commitment back then. These 2,000 jobs were so important that I promised everybody here that we would get it done," adds McAuliffe.
Governor McAuliffe tells us the first bill failed in the legislature; that's why he wrote his own, which passed. "As governor I want the entire Commonwealth to grow and prosper with jobs. We have to spend extra effort in communities that have been hit hard over the last few years," he said.
Meanwhile, construction crews at the Falls continue working to get the Cabela's pad and the rest of the ground cleared and even so construction can begin. "We're standing on the pad right now. They have to do a little bit more work on the pads because of the winter weather, so that's where we stand right now. We're going to start developing an actual time line as to when they will start actual construction," says McAuliffe.
Odum tells us the city is continuing to push for the project. "Any obstacles that come up we're going to meet those head on again and we're going to continue this fight to get this done," he said.
Bristol, Virginia mayor Guy Odum also tells us the developers are talking with several stores they hope to bring into the Falls. He hopes to announce which retailers are making commitments in the coming weeks.