Good news in Isle of Wight

Published 8:15 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

A company’s plan to double the size of its commercial dog-training facility in Walters is terrific news for the region’s economy.

The expansion, which would create 50 to 75 new jobs and more than triple American K-9 Interdiction’s workforce in Isle of Wight County, reminds us of the farsightedness that Isle of Wight officials demonstrated in originally allowing the facility last summer.

It would have been easy to let a not-in-my-back-yard mentality block the project and send the prospective jobs to South Carolina. Despite some minor grumbling from neighbors about noise from barking dogs, county officials granted a permit for the facility, which trains military and police dogs.

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In addition to creating jobs and economic activity, the company cleaned up a county eyesore: an abandoned detention center and its accompanying barbed wire and guard towers.

Business is going so well that the company wants to build a new 18,500-square-foot facility and add 200 more kennels. The jobs that will be created — ranging from trainers to inspectors — will pay from $30,000 to $100,000 per year.

A revised special-use permit is necessary to accommodate the new building and expanded operating hours. The Isle of Wight Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the permit request at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28.

We hope planners endorse the project and send it to county supervisors for quick final approval.

— The Tidewater News