Isle of Wight names new planning, zoning director

Amy Ring, Isle of Wight County's assistant director of economic development, will become the director of planning and zoning Jan. 1, filling a position that's been vacant since August.

Ring has close to 20 years of planning experience, and has been certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Ring has worked in planning and economic development with nearby localities for the past two decades.

"Her planning experience coupled with her experience in economic development, we think it's going to be a good fit for us," county spokesman Don Robertson said. "It will hopefully position us to certainly be a business-friendly community that's focused on planning for the future."

Ring has a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor of arts degree in economics and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

Her successor as assistant director of economic development has not been chosen, Robertson said. The county will likely post the position after the first of the year, he said.

Work to begin on Smithfield sports complex

The Town of Smithfield will hold a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for its new sports complex, which bring five baseball fields, a football field and a track to the town by next summer.

The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. at 900 W. Main St. The complex is named after Joseph W. Luter Jr., who donated $2 million to the project. Preliminary clearing of the site began earlier this month, though the town hit a snag on sewer line plans, according to Smithfield Mayor Carter Williams.

The town's parks and recreation committee voted Dec. 20 to recommend removing the sewer line construction from its contract with RAD Sports, which is building the more than $2 million complex. The Virginia Department of Transportation is requiring a right-hand turning lane at the entrance of the complex, and is requiring the sewer line to run underneath the lane, according to Williams.

RAD Sports cannot begin the sewer line extension until the right-hand turning lane plans are approved by VDOT, Williams said. This will take more than a couple of months, possibly up to a year, the mayor said. However, this hold-up will not affect the complex's opening timeline, Williams said. The town will "pump and haul" sewage from the site until the lines are installed.

Smith can be reached by phone at 757-510-1663.

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