The latest on the programs and projects of
the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.
Around the Region
 October 2017 
Children's Publication & Donation Drive Impacts Hurricane Survivors

A Shenandoah Valley Project Impact (SVPI) publication created to help children understand disaster preparedness and navigate the stress of severe weather has been reformatted into a mini-guide that is now in the  hands of children impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Thanks to a collaboration of several organizations and volunteers, 25,000 copies of "Too Much Weather: A Disaster Activity Book for Kids" have been shipped to hurricane-affected areas. 
  
         CSPDC Hurricane Relief Donations
Word has q uickly spread about the availability of the guide, and SVPI has received requests for copies from groups like the Virgin Islands Children's Museum, located in St. Thomas.  The museum is creating "hurricane trauma bags" to help children in their area recover. SVPI and Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Community Emergency Response Team members held a donation drive fo the museum and collected nine boxes of items to include with copies of "Too Much Weather."  Ongoing financial contributions to the project are greatly welcomed.

For more information about "Too Much Weather: A Disaster Activity Book for Kids," contact Rebecca Joyce, (540) 885-5174, rebecca@cspdc.org.
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Greenhouse Village Grant Awarded

Rockbridge County has been awarded a  $476,693 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to add neighborhood infrastructure and 12 new homes to the Greenhouse Village Housing Production Project. This award will advance Phase II of the project, which is a cluster development of single-family homes completed in partnership with  Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity (Habitat). The project is in a designated growth area where Rockbridge County has identified a need for safe and affordable low- to moderate-income family housing. 

Phase II will bring the total number of homes to 27, and the additional infrastructure upgrades will allow Habitat to build eight more homes in the future. The funding also contributes to trade skill development in the region. Rockbridge Area Habitat typically builds four homes a year, one of which is a modular home built by students in the Building Trades Department at Rockbridge County High School.  The CSPDC has assisted Rockbridge County with the CDBG grant applications for both phases of the Greenhouse Village project, and will provide ongoing grant administrative services.
SAWMPO and CA-MPO Policy Board Members
Annual Joint MPO Meeting Held

The Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (SAWMPO) and the Charlottesville-Albemarle MPO (CA-MPO) held their third annual joint meeting on Wednesday, September 27 in Crozet. The MPOs strive to maximize their resources and expertise to address shared transportation interests and projects, including multimodal needs along the I-64 Corridor, public transit between the two regions, and the restoration of the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel. 

This year's meeting covered the results of two recently concluded studies on which the MPOs have collaborated - an I-64 Corridor Study and an Inter-Regional Transit Study.  A presentation on "The Future of Transportation: Autonomous Vehicles," by John Martin, CEO and Managing Partner of the Southeastern Institute of Research, Inc. and remarks from state and federal agencies rounded out the joint meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for fall 2018 in the SAWMPO region.
Pre-Applications for GO Virginia Funding Due October 13

The GO Virginia Region 8 Council is accepting proposals for projects to be funded within the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission.  The Region 8 Council has approximately $928,000 in GO Virginia funds to award to projects in the region.  In addition, approximately $11.3 million in competitive statewide GO Virginia funds is available for projects.

Successful projects will address one or more of the region's five targeted industry sectors: Financial and Business Services, HealthCare, IT/Communications, Light Manufacturing, and Transportation & Logistics.

To be considered, submit a pre-application to the CSPDC at bonnie@cspdc.org no later than Friday, October 13, 2017.
Bath & Highland Join Forces to Create Network Authority

Bath County, Highland County, and the Town of Monterey will join together to form the Bath-Highland Network Authority.  The group will facilitate the provision of affordable highspeed data, internet, and telecommunications services in the area.  Broadband communications will foster economic development, improve educational opportunities, ensure public safety, and enhance the overall quality of life of residents.

The creation of this partnership was supported by a Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grant through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.  The CSPDC provided project management and grant administration services.
Bridgewater Holds Open House for Main Street Study

On September 28, the final public information meeting regarding the Main Street (Route 42) Corridor Study was held at the Bridgewater Community Center.  An engineering consultant from Kimley-Horn and Associates made a presentation on the existing conditions of the corridor, an operational field analysis, and the corridor improvements that could increase transportation safety, reduce congestion and enhance multimodal accessibility. Officials from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Town of Bridgewater were present to answer questions.
I-64 Project Wrapping Up and MOU Signed

In September 2016, SAWMPO and CA-MPO received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration  to study the Interstate 64 Corridor from Charlottesville to Staunton. The study examined operational and safety deficiencies along the corridor in an effort to identify opportunities to improve traffic flow and safety to increase the movement of people and goods safely through the corridor. 

The project will be wrapping up in December 2017, and to support the two organization's continued planning and project development efforts along the I-64 Corridor, a Memorandum of Understanding between the two MPOs was executed at the September Joint MPO Meeting.
Rural Planning Caucus Scheduled for October

The 39th Annual Conference of the Rural Planning Caucus of Virginia (RPC) will be held October 18-20, 2017, at the historic Berry Hill Resort & Conference Center.  The event will provide rural and small-town planning professionals an interactive forum in which to discuss important rural planning topics, gain efficient planning tools and techniques, and network to better promote and sustain resilient rural communities.

Bonnie Riedesel, CSPDC Executive Director, has been asked to serve on a panel that will discuss how rural communities can discover, capitalize, and showcase their local assets.  She will be presenting on the Shenandoah Valley's award-winning Fields of Gold agritourism program. 
Mobility Management Program Kickoff

On October 3, the CSPDC hosted the kickoff meeting for the new CSPDC Mobility Management Program, a grant project funded by Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).  Following the kickoff, DRPT held a Coordinated Human Service Mobility Team grant recipient meeting.  The event provided an opportunity for CSPDC to outline activities and goals for the grant and for human service organizations to give feedback on how the mobility program can best assist them. Goals for the grant include the coordination of existing transportation providers, the establishment of a central access point for human service providers, and an assessment of current gaps in transportation services in the region.
Governor's Transportation Conference Coming Up

CSPDC staff will be part of a panel at the Governor's Transportation Conference on October 24-27, 2017, at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs. The Virginia Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (VAMPO) panel will discuss regional and state partnerships. CSPDC staff will present the Inter-Regional Transit Plan that studied the feasibility of a transit system linking the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Charlottesville.  The transportation conference provides a statewide forum for networking with public and private sector partners to advance transportation planning in our region.
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