Read about the Commission's newest staff , blueway grant, greenway public meeting opportunities.  Take note that the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority has moved to their new permanent office location in downtown Roanoke. See new mailing address, staff info., and their  new website address.

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Roanok e Valley Broadband Authority Moves to New Location

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission has housed the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority (RVBA) since 2014.  Effective Monday, March 6, 2017, the RVBA will move into their new office suite located  in the Coulter Building at 601 S. Jefferson Street, Suite 110, Roanoke, VA 24011 (use  Franklin Road entry) . S taff and their direct phone numbers are listed below. The Broadband Authority's main number is 540-904-4739.  Please refer now to their new website   rvba.online .  

Frank M. Smith, II, President and CEO
Ph: 540-904-1073
fsmith@highspeedroanoke.net

Dave Armentrout, VP of Network Engineering and Operations
Ph: 540-266-3189
darmentrout@highspeedroanoke.net

Olivia Dooley, Chief Fiscal Officer
Ph: 540-266-3129
odooley@highspeedroanoke.net
Courtesy Stephen King
Roanoke River Blueway Receives Virginia Tourism Corporation Grant for Tourism Marketing

Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced that the  Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission received $5,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program grant fund for its  Roanoke River Blueway promotional efforts.

Funding for the  Roanoke River Blueway is provided through a partnership between the Regional Commission and its following member localities - the City of Roanoke, the City of Salem, Roanoke County, and the Town of Vinton. The Regional Commission additionally partnered with Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge, Roanoke Outside, and the Greenway Commission to supply matching funds for the project. The Roanoke River Blueway has previously received the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan and has been recognized as a Virginia Treasure. This grant will develop new promotional materials and an ad campaign geared towards potential visitors to Virginia's Blue Ridge.

"This is a good example of working collaboratively together to leverage these dollars to create a greater economic impact for the region.  Tourism is BIG Business and developing new product like the blueway increases our ability to attract more visitors,"  s tated Landon Howard, President of Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge.

In total, VTC awarded more than $772,000 for 62 tourism marketing projects across the Commonwealth to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia's localities through tourism.   The grants are designed to help local and regional tourism entities attract more visitors by leveraging local marketing dollars, and will ultimately impact at least 260 other statewide tourism entities. The local organizations match the state grant funds by a minimum of 2:1 in order to support marketing projects. This funding cycle, the local partners will match the VTC grant dollars with more than $3.64 million, providing more than $4.4 million in new marketing to increase visitation to Virginia.

Questions regarding this article should be directed to Amanda McGee, Regional Planner II, at amcgee@rvarc.org.
Greenway Commission to Host Community Meetings to Update the Greenway Plan

The Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission is hosting multiple meetings to receive public input on updating the conceptual greenway plan.  

There will be two regional meetings focusing on regional connectivity: 
  • Tuesday, March 21 at Greenfield Center in Botetourt County
  • Thursday, March 30 at Fishburn Elementary School
  There will also be four locality meetings for more specific input on routes:
  • Monday, March 27 at Mountain View Elementary School
  • Monday, April 3 at South County Library
  • Thursday, April 6 at Glenvar Middle School
  • Monday, April 10 at Vinton War Memorial
Each meeting will begin at 6:30 pm with a presentation on the history and status of the greenway program. After the presentation, participants will rotate through stations to provide input on routes, priorities, issues, and opportunities.

The greenway plan was last updated in 2007. SInce 2007, over 200 miles of greenways and trails have been added to the network. In 2016, Botetourt County joined the Greenway Commission, adding over 230 miles of trails and blueways.

"The Roanoke Valley has truly embraced greenways," said Liz Belcher, the Greenway Coordinator. "Greenways are now important to our quality of life, our economic development, and the social fabric of our communities."
 
The Greenway Commission includes the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, the Town of Vinton, and the Counties of Roanoke and Botetourt. The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is assisting with this update.
 
For further information, go to www.greenways.org. Provide input through a survey at
Regional Commission Welcomes New Staff

DORIAN ALLEN  has been hired as a Transportation Planner I.  Dorian graduated last year from Virginia Tech with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning.  His work at the Commission will support the Transportation Planning Organization's (TPO) planning efforts in the urban area, as well as the rural transportation program.  dallen@rvarc,org

TIM POHLAD-THOMAS has been hired as the Communications and Outreach Specialist. Tim's responsibilities will include supporting the RIDE Solutions program with special event planning, graphic design, media buying, and promotional activities. Tim will also provide marketing and PR support for the Regional Commission. timpohladthomas@rvarc.org
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission | 313 Luck Ave., SW / Roanoke, VA 24016
540.343.4417 | rvarc@rvarc.org |  rvarc.org  
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