Both the Fredericksburg City Council and King George County Board of Supervisors recently adopted ordinances creating the Rappahannock Regional Industrial Facilities Authority (RIFA).
A RIFA is designed to enhance the economic base for its member localities by developing, owning and operating one or more facilities on a cooperative basis. Other area localities could later join the RIFA.
By entering into the RIFA, King George and Fredericksburg have established the framework for future “Participation Agreements” on individual projects. Creating the RIFA itself does not require either the City of Fredericksburg or King George to ever enter into such an agreement.
RIFAs have been used for regional economic development projects in other parts of Virginia, and the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance at the University of Mary Washington (FRA) was instrumental in getting one created locally. The FRA also serves Stafford, Spotsylvania and Caroline counties.
Jeff Stonehill, King George County Board of Supervisors Chairman, stated that this is a great opportunity to maximize resources through partnership and cooperation.
Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw called the RIFA an excellent example of regional collaboration that could benefit multiple jurisdictions. She encouraged other area localities to join the RIFA.
G.W. “Billy” Beale, chairman of the GO Virginia Region 6 Council, stated: “On behalf of the GO Virginia Region 6 Council, I applaud the dedicated approach of the City of Fredericksburg and King George County for passing this significant agreement. The RIFA project exemplifies one of the core missions of GO Virginia — regional collaboration. This is another tool that will assist localities in working together to achieve the shared goal of attracting new, high-paying jobs.”
Jason El Koubi, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, stated: “Collaboration is essential for maximizing economic development, and regionalism integrates resources, talent, and assets to ultimately increase overall competitiveness and win projects. I commend the City of Fredericksburg and King George County for establishing the Rappahannock Regional Industrial Facilities Authority, and look forward to the great opportunities this partnership will catalyze.”
FRA President Curry Roberts stated: “RIFAs can be an excellent vehicle for localities to cooperate on development of employment centers that attract more jobs to our region, offer more opportunities for commuters to work closer to home, and share new tax revenue that would diversify the participating communities sources of funding.”