Stegmaier says no to recession in Chesterfield

Economic development and a promise of jobs was the message last week as county supervisors put on their best handshake and cut the ribbon at a number of new enterprises in Chesterfield.

Other than Uptown Alley, a $19.6 million, 55,000 square-foot bowling and entertainment complex which promises 100 full and part-time jobs at the Commonwealth center in the Clover Hill District, the added business was in the Dale and Bermuda districts.

Shoosmith Brothers flipped the switch, early last Tuesday morning, on a multi-million dollar recycling operation at its landfill facility on Iron Bridge Road. The recycling facility is being called The Recycling Center and will process cardboard, plastics and metals that might otherwise end up in the landfill. According to Fletcher Kelly, vice president of Shoosmith Brothers, the recycling operation will reduce the waste going into the landfill by 200 tons a day.

“If we’re going to stay in the landfill business,” Kelly said prior to the ribbon cutting last week, “we’re going to have to do things that are sustainable.”
In partnership with Sonoco Recycling Inc., the Shoosmith operation uses an industrial sorter and hand pickers to separate the materials for recycling. The paper will be sent to a Sonoco paper mill in Richmond.  The capital investment is expected to create 30 new jobs in the county.

Kelly praised the county during his remarks at the ribbon cutting. “We had a little problem with the building department, but Natalie … said ‘calm down and we’ll get everything worked out.’”

The project took two years from conception to completion, Kelly said, but concluded, “We are excited to bring a new generation of commercial recycling facilities to Chesterfield County.”

Supervisors Jim Holland and Dorothy Jaeckle attended the ribbon cutting. Mr. Holland said he was overjoyed and said the facility was a wonderful addition for the county.
Jaeckle said, “This is so exciting, such a great example of entrepreneurship and opportunity. Fletcher has truly continued the policies of Jack Shoosmith.  He always steps up to the plate for the community.”

During his opening address during the Board of Supervisors meeting later in the day, James J. L. Stegmaier, Chesterfield’s county administrator, said it had been a very exciting week for Chesterfield; either starting or opening four new businesses in one week.

He announced the opening of distribution facility at the Walthall Industrial Park by Emerson Ecologics LLC, a vitamin and herbal supplement distributor.  Leasing warehouse space at Walthall the company expects to hire 35 workers immediately and up to 60 over the next three years.

In a press release issued by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office, Emerson’s CEO Andy Greenawalt said the location was chosen for the ability to reach a majority of eastern and Midwestern doctors via small ground shipping within two days.

“As we investigated the region, we were impressed by the business-friendly climate, as well as the access to well designed, climate-controlled facilities that met our needs,” Greenawalt was quoted as saying in the release. “Our new facility will result in a 50 percent increase in our overall distribution capacity, which is critical in supporting our future growth.”

On Monday, as reported in the Village News last week, the Poseidon Aquatics Center pool was delivered as construction continued on the 55,000 square foot swimming facility.

Stegmaier said during the supervisors’ meeting and the Shoosmith opening, “There will be no more recession in Chesterfield County.”

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