County Votes to Fund Wallops Research Park

The Eastern Shore Post reports that Accomack County is looking to spent $8 million developing a research park on booming Wallops Island:

Accomack supervisors committed Wednesday to borrowing up to $4 million to install water, sewer, roads and other amenities to Wallops Research Park (WRP), a move their financial experts assured them could be made without raising taxes.

The 8-1 vote also promised the county would apply for a $4 million state grant that would fund construction of a taxiway connecting NASA’s runway to the research facility and would remove a deed restriction from property needed to complete WRP….

Caroline Massey, assistant director of Management Operations for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, sweetened the deal by pledging to send business to the research park. “We are turning projects away,” she told the supervisors. “NASA will not compete with the private sector. … Commercial entities shall be directed to WRP. All interests for office space, staging and storage shall be directed to WRP.”

Massey touted the potential of Wallops due to NASA, NOAA, the Navy, Orbital Science and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. “Location, location, location,” she said. “That’s why they will continue to come.” She said aerospace giants like Boeing and Bigelow have expressed interest in locating at Wallops. “We’re free of encroachments,” she added. And restricted airspace is available. “If you’ve got it, you’ve got a real gem.”

Massey also listed all the money that was recently spent here, including $100 million by the federal government, not including $200 million by NOAA, $42 million for MARS, $40 million in private industry and $28 million for broadband and other capabilities.

The following slides were included in a presentation given to Accomack supervisors.

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