The Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe County is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia that was founded by and is funded primarily by Wythe County, the Town of Wytheville, and the Town of Rural Retreat in Virginia.
Begun in 1989, the agency colloquially known as the “Joint IDA” or “JIDA” was established to manage the daily economic development efforts of the three jurisdictions and to provide a unified message to the outside world that Wythe County and its two towns are progressive, business-friendly communities. The ordinance that created the JIDA can be found here.
Our function to the taxpayers, elected officials, and local administrators is that we are the point agency in helping build a strong economic future in Wythe County. By fostering a healthy and productive tax base, we not only generate meaningful employment opportunities, but we also keep the individual tax burden low, allowing for greater economic freedom for our citizens, as well.
As a result of strategic planning undertaken with the local governing bodies in 2013-2014 and a revision from 2016, the focus of the JIDA expanded from business (primarily industrial) attraction and retention/expansion to include small business, downtown revitalization, entrepreneurial ventures, and tourism support. To view our strategic goals, please click here for the document.
The JIDA is governed by a Board of Directors and that board appoints an Executive Director to run the daily operations of the organization and execute policy as set by the Board. Our organizational chart further illustrates our structure.
Board members are appointed by the three constituent local governments:
- Wythe County Board of Supervisors appoints 4 members
- Wytheville Town Council appoints 2 members
- Rural Retreat Town Council appoints 1 member
The Town Managers of Wytheville and Rural Retreat and the County Administrator of Wythe County are all ex officio, non-voting members of the JIDA Board.
Although appointees cannot be elected officials, they must reside within the jurisdiction of the appointing body and are subject to public financial disclosures and open meetings laws.
The JIDA is funded by the three constituent local governments pursuant to a funding formula devised in the original enabling legislation. The contributions are loosely based on population.
- Wythe County contributes 68%
- Wytheville contributes 28%
- Rural Retreat contributes 4%
Under a 13-point plan agreed to by the JIDA and its three constituent governing bodies in 2014, the JIDA Executive Director and staff regularly make reports to those governing bodies in open session. Staff also meets regularly with the Chief Administrative Officers of the localities, with the Wythe County Economic Development Committee, state and federal legislators and staff, and with any other elected officials and/or committees as needed.
Annual financial audits are undertaken by an outside, independent accounting firm on an annual basis.
JIDA Board Meetings are open to the public and public comment is encouraged whether in person, in writing, or via e-mail or telephone.
From time to time, the JIDA Board may enter closed session for reasons as permitted under the Code of Virginia.
JIDA Board Meetings
Monthly, on the 4th Thursday at 3:00pm, the JIDA Board of Directors meets. Citizens’ Time occurs near the beginning of each meeting during which time citizens are welcome to address the Board and Staff on any relevant topic. If scheduling conflicts arise (including holidays) board meetings might be rescheduled with proper notice given — including on the calendar found here.
The meetings are held in the Wytheville Town Council Chambers at 150 E. Main Street, Wytheville, VA 24382.
If you’re interested in working with the JIDA or serving on the Board of Directors or a committee, please contact our office, your elected local official(s), or the appropriate County or Town offices.
We want to hear from you. Please find the relevant information to contact the JIDA here.