Accomack & Camden Counties
It is resonable to look at Spaceports in other regions and try to understand whether those Spaceports have lived up to the economic promises of the promoters. Virginia's Commercial Spaceport MARS is located adjacent to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Accomack County Virginia. It has been the launch site for Orbital ATK, one of the very few commercial companies flying missions to the International Space Station, and with deep enough pockets to build Spaceport Camden, so MARS operations are helpful in predicting the Economic and Jobs potential for Spaceport Camden.
Surprisingly, Accomack County, Va. and Camden County have strikingly similar demographics, except that after almost 70 years of rocket launches, Accomack County is one of Virginia's POOREST. Of course, Accomack would have been worse off without NASA, but the hoped for industries that do not need rocket scientists have not materialized. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accomack_County,_Virginia.)
The NASA facility is fully funded by the US Government and the commercial Spaceport MARS requires millions in State subsidies each year so each are essentially subsidies to Accomack County.
Accomack County's population has remained almost unchanged for more than 100 years, while Camden grows every year.
The top employers in Accomack are #1 Perdue & #2 Tyson Farms. Of the top 25 employers in Accomack, space-related business are #11, #19 and #24. None of those are manufacturing sites:
1. Perdue Products
2. Tyson Farms
3. Accomack County School Board
4. Riverside Regional Medical Center
5. Northampton County Schools
6. Bayshore Concrete Products Company
7. County of Accomack
8. Nat'l Aeronautics & Space Admin.
9. Wal Mart
10. County of Northampton
11. LJT Associates Inc
12. Food Lion
13. Eastern Shore Rural Health System
14. Eastern Shore Community Services
16. Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
17. Ballard Fish and Oyster Company Inc.
18. Heritage Hall
19. Integrated Microcomputer System, Lockheed Martin
20. Therapeutic Interventions
21. Royal Farms
22. Lfc Agricultural Services Inc
23. Eastern Shore Community College
24. SGT Incorporated
25. Intrepid USA Inc
Open Jobs 1/15/2016 at Wallops Island (NASA CONTRACTORS):
#11 LJT Associates Inc.
16 total jobs offered nationwide- 8 at Wallops
#19 Lockheed Martin
4,925 total jobs offered nationwide - 17 at Wallops
#24 Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT)
75 positions nationwide - 0 at Wallops
We cannot determine how many fulltime people are employed at the Commercial Spaceport MARS.
Accomack Supervisors Blasted With Issues
Eastern Shore Post Onley, VA.
DECEMBER 30, 2015 By Linda Cicoira
"Change seems inevitable in Accomack. It’s a place where rockets explode, poultry houses multiply, planes fly low late at night and the beautiful Atlantic coastline is looking to off-shore oil drilling.
"County supervisors were told Wednesday that all of these could affect the economy, public health and property values.
"The rocket that malfunctioned at Wallops Island in October 2014 showed a grim picture of what could happen to nearby landowners. NASA’s blast zone is worrying those who reside inside, people whose families have lived on the farms for generations. Some are scared of property damage while others are wondering just how the designation will shape their future.
County Assessor Brent Hurdle reported that 2016 assessments for real estate are going out in the mail. “Overall, the changes … resulted in a decrease of approximately 2 percent in the fair market value real estate tax base,” he said. Between 10 percent and 25 percent of the 40,000 parcels went up in value."
Is this the industry we can expect?
What is the annual subsidy from the State of Virginia for the Spaceport? Has the State of Georgia decided to provide similar subsidies?
If Accomack County did not have the NASA government facilities, could it support the MARS Commercial Launch Site?
Why is Accomack County still poor after decades of rocket launches and the high-tech jobs from NASA?
Why haven't space manufacturing jobs located in Accomack after 70 years of rocket launches?
What incentives has Virginia offered Orbital ATK to use the MARS launch facility?
The County Tax Assessor said that 10% to 25% of properties had their values increased. Does this mean that the other 75% to 90% lost value since the overall digest decreased? How will Camden property values be affected?
Will our Officials require that the subsidized spaceport operator to hire a significant percentage of people from Camden?