Virginia Energy Director of Coal Programs Randy Moore, Dickenson County Director of Economic Development Dana Cronkhite, U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith and Virginia Energy Manager of Economic Development Daniel Kestner. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Energy.
Virginia Energy Director of Coal Programs Randy Moore, Dickenson County Director of Economic Development Dana Cronkhite, U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith and Virginia Energy Manager of Economic Development Daniel Kestner. Courtesy of Virginia Department of Energy.

The federal Abandoned Mine Land Economic Revitalization program has made two grants to projects in Dickenson County.

A grant of $869,584 will fund site preparation work at the Red Onion Industrial Site with a goal of creating a place for new industries. The announcement comes amid a statewide push to create more industrial sites; earlier this week, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced $90 million for site preparation at 21 locations across Virginia, including $22 million for a site in Henry County.

Another abandoned mine land grant of $150,000 will fund the removal of old, blighted homes in the community of Trammel and the restoration of over 2,000 feet of sidewalk in the former coal camp, according to The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy), which administers the AMLER program.

In a statement, U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, said the Red Onion grant will fund the first phase of development at the site. “This development will include building on-site road access, constructing stormwater and erosion control structures, as well as constructing additional broadband fiber to the site. Once completed, Red Onion Industrial Site will be a boon for a broad range of industries, unlocking even more economic potential in Dickenson and Wise counties.”

“Our county is limited in sites for new business so the Red Onion Industrial Site project will give us tools for economic development we haven’t had before,” said Dickenson County Director of Economic Development Dana Cronkhite in a statement. “The AMLER funds are getting us off to a great start and we hope to have three build ready pads for great businesses in the near future.”

According to the Virginia Department of Energy, erosion and sediment controls construction will generate enough material to stabilize the slope of a dangerous highwall nearby that was left behind by coal mining before 1977. The highwall is adjacent to the industrial site.

The Trammel funding is “part of a much larger project underway by People Incorporated with an end goal of making Trammel an exemplary southern gateway community to Dickenson County,” the department said. “The bigger project will rebuild homes, improve the playground and provide other infrastructure improvements.”

People Incorporated President and CEO Brian Phipps, Virginia Energy Manager of Economic Development Daniel Kestner, District Director for Congressman Morgan Griffith Josh Hess and Virginia Energy Director of Coal Programs Randy Moore. Courtesy of Va. Department of Energy.