The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Is a Toyota Manufacturing Plant Coming to Augusta County?

The scuttlebutt in the Shenandoah Valley for the past few months has been that Toyota is seriously eyeing the Valley as the potential location for a large-scale manufacturing facility. Depending on the source, the plant would employ between 2,000 and 3,000 folks and pay top dollar (I've read an average of something like $25 an hour for assembly workers, sounds reasonable...)

Today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Augusta County's Board of Supervisors will hold a "closed door" session this coming Monday with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. According to the article, the VEDP will pitch a 500 to 1,600 acre site located in the northeastern portion of the County to the Board as the potential location of a manufacturing plant. Of course - because this is a "closed door" meeting - it is impossible to determine exactly where or who is interested in this site, but I think it's safe to assume Toyota is indeed behind this inquiry.

Additionally, a few months ago the Roanoke Times reported that Toyota has been carefully examining multiple East Coast destinations as the potential location of a manufacturing plant, but Augusta County appears to be the favorite.

Of course, if a site is selected in Augusta, the real fun will then begin. Public hearings, opposition groups, and so forth. Just think of the economic impact that such a facility would have on the Valley. Not only would 2,000 - 3,000 high paying manufacturing jobs be absorbed into the region, but likely an additional 5,000 - 15,000 service industry jobs as well (I believe this is refered to as the "multipler effect"). There is no doubt, Augusta County would be a different place. (Think Elkton and Coors, which by the way was opposed by many folks. Could you imagine Eastern Rockingham without Coors?)

It will be interesting to see how or if this actually develops. Obviously I - like many others - would like to first look at any proposal before formulating a final opinion, but I must admit it will be difficult to sway me from believing that such a proposal would be anything but a positive for this region. Any thoughts?


  • At 6/25/2006 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had my doubts for a while, but it does appear that Toyota is extremely interested in a site outside of Staunton. There's no question that this will be great news for the Valley if it comes to be. Stay tuned.

  • At 6/26/2006 11:21 AM, Anonymous Agitator said…

    Regardless of how you feel about a large industry coming to the Valley, there are many questions being raised about how the BOS is conducting the people's business. They have a comp plan update they refuse to pay an extra 10, 20, 30k on yet drop a cool half mill on a secret study for a type of industrial study that argueably isn't and hasnt been called for in any Comp Plan the County has ever done.I consider the need for "confidentiality" a red herring. You can discuss the specific land being looked at and infastructure needs without releasing a single thing about any particular company. Right now, citizens are being kept in the dark about an event that could change forever the Central and Valley and they are predictably nervous and upset.

  • At 6/26/2006 11:56 AM, Blogger Tom Wise said…

    Good post, and thanks. You obviously have greater insight into some of the inner workings of Augusta County Government than I do...I guess the public will have an opportunity to speak to this issue when (or if) a rezoning is requested by an applicant..that would be an excellent time to address potential inconsistencies with the County's Comp Plan...thanks again for your comments!

  • At 6/26/2006 11:10 PM, Anonymous Agitator said…

    Looks like the MegaSite is dead in the water, according to TV3 report, which seems to be the reason that the BOS is now deciding to release the report. I'll call this one a draw for now.


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