WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Industrial Development Authority made changes to its COVID-19 relief grant application, which allowed 14 previously awarded grants to secure extra funds.

The change, made during the IDA’s regular meeting Monday, now allows the IDA to accept up to six months of business utilities as eligible expenses.

Under previous guidelines, utility expenses were not covered by the grant.

Previous partially covered expenses included up to six months of rent/mortgage and reopening expenses — including outdoor seating, touchless payment options and other technology needed to transition after the pandemic or to allow social distancing.

Previously, the IDA had been able to cover utilities out of CARES Act money but not the Community Development Block Grant funds being used for the current grant program.

The change allowed the IDA to amend 14 previously awarded grants to award the maximum amount of $15,000.

“In other words, if a business had only been eligible for $6,000 under the previous guidelines — $1,000 a month rent for six months — and therefore had only been awarded $6,000, we amended their award for an additional $9,000,” Jenna French, Shenandoah County Director of Tourism and Economic Development, said.

Businesses must still provide eligible receipts and proof of payment for the six months of utilities to receive the funds.

This leaves just under $47,000 available to newly applying businesses.

The IDA also granted a site distance easement on its property located on Dish Drive in the Mount Jackson Industrial Park to allow access to a property under development on that same road.

A distance easement was needed because that area of Dish Drive does not have a posted speed limit sign. The Virginia Department of Transportation, French said, has deemed the speed limit there to be 55 miles per hour.

“Given the 55 miles per hour speed limit, there isn’t enough site distance to construct an entrance at the point where they developer would like,” French said. “Therefore, the IDA has granted a site distance easement of 47 feet at the widest part of the curve, which will enable the developer to move forward with their plans and not need to be delayed in the process.”

The property is being developed for a food processing facility.

— Contact Matt Welch at mwelch@winchesterstar.com