Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief
4:41 PM EST, February 21, 2012
CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va.
Campbell County has seen its share of economic misfortune.
In the last 20 years, Brookneal and Altavista have lost large factories and thousands of jobs.
"It's not just here," said Campbell County Economic Development Director, Mike Davidson. "All small towns are suffering greatly."
County leaders like Davidson believe there's a bright road ahead. His office is drafting a blueprint for how the county can and will grow.
"If you don't know where you want to be, it's kind of hard to figure out how to get there," Davidson said.
The county has come up with a "Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy." It will guide the county through future growth, by identifying areas of strength and weakness.
One positive is the county's highway system.
"We continue to look at Route 29 as one of the growth corridors in Campbell County," said Davidson.
County leaders plan to sink money and resources into industrial parks along Route 29. They also plan to market former industrial sites, like the old Dan River plant in Brookneal.
Before anything happens, county officials want citizen input.
"We'd like them to tell us what they think about it," said Davidson. "We want them to see if we've missed anything that they're aware of."
Anything the county plans to do will hinge on funding and grants, from both the state and federal level.
Davidson says it could take years for the strategy to pay off, but he believes it eventually will.
"It's not going to happen overnight," said Davidson. "It's a long-term objective and a long-term process."
The county is hosting three meetings over the next week to get your input on the economic strategy.
Here is a list of meeting times and locations:
Brookneal Town Hall. Tuesday, February 21. 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Rustburg Government Complex - Citizen Services Building. Thursday, February 23. 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Altavista Train Station. Tuesday, February 28. 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
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