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Dominion donates $3.5 million to county

A statement released from Dominion Energy this week announced the company is making a multi-million dollar financial commitment to Union Hill and other Buckingham communities.

The release, distributed by Dominion External Affairs Manager Felix Sarfo-Kantanka and read aloud by Buckingham County Administrator Rebecca Carter during the Monday, Feb. 8, Board of Supervisors meeting, says Dominion Energy will make a multi-year commitment to the communities to include a $1.5 million contribution to the Buckingham County Public Safety and EMS Program and a $2 million donation to the South James River Community Foundation, previously known as the Greater Union Hill Community Development Corporation.

“Dominion Energy has been a proud corporate citizen of Buckingham County for well over 70 years,” officials wrote in the release. “As we worked with the county, and more specifically with the Union Hill community, on our now canceled compressor station project, we learned of several opportunities where we felt we could make a difference in people’s lives. During our engagement process, important education, cultural and public safety needs were highlighted by residents. Notwithstanding the cancellation of the compressor station, we still believe that we can make a difference in Buckingham.”

Officials said the grants represent many of the elements which had been included in the memorandum of understanding between Dominion and the South James River Community Foundation after the company’s engagement with the residents of Union Hill as it worked to permit the proposed compressor station.

Dr. Basil I. Gooden, board chairman and president of South James River Community Foundation, said the foundation has been working throughout Buckingham County since 2018 to develop partnerships to support increased educational opportunities and improve access to healthcare, housing rehabilitation and community economic development initiatives.

“The South James River Community Foundation looks forward to utilizing this significant investment from Dominion Energy to focus on the primary areas of education, healthcare, housing, historic preservation and community economic development initiatives,” he said in a statement Wednesday, Feb. 10. “We anticipate working with the Buckingham County school system and several other outstanding organizations such as the Central Virginia Health Services, Piedmont Senior Resources, Historic Buckingham and Ellis Acres Memorial Park to enhance services and opportunities for Buckingham County. The SRJCF will continue to develop community partnerships to address community needs and make a significant and meaningful impact on the lives of Buckingham citizens.”

Cody Davis, Buckingham County Emergency Services director, said Wednesday he was very appreciative of Dominion’s continued commitment to the county.

“Dominion has yet to provide a release schedule for the funds or how they would like to see the moneys spent,” he noted. “Personally, I aim to work with Carter and other peers to ensure that the money is spent in a way that will help bolster the county’s public safety resources in not only the Glenmore and Union Hill communities, but county-wide. This may come in the form of covering staffing costs, equipment replacement and/or infrastructure upgrades.”