Issue 4, Winter 2022
Kim Callis
VAPDC President
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the Northern Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia Regional Commissions
The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission (NSVRC) serves the Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren; the City of Winchester; and the Towns of Berryville, Front Royal, Luray, Middletown, Stephens City, Strasburg and Woodstock. The NSVRC (Planning District 7) prides itself on bringing its local governments together to pursue common goals, work together on regional issues and find efficiencies through collaboration.
NSVRC recently was awarded the largest of the state’s FY22 VATI grants for expanding broadband internet. The $95.3 million award in partnership with All Points Broadband will enable construction of a fiber-to-the-home broadband network to bring internet access to approximately 40,000 unserved locations across eight counties. NSVRC also is working closely with local jurisdictions and community groups, as part of the Shenandoah Rail Trail Exploratory Partnership, toward construction of a 48.5-mile trail from disused rail track through the Valley. The NSVRC also serves as GO Virginia Region 8’s leading support organization, with support from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership. These organizations collectively provide administrative services and fiduciary oversight for GO Virginia activities in Region 8.
The NSVRC region is home to 243,245 people (Weldon Cooper Center estimate, July 1, 2020). The NSVRC Chair is Dennis Morris (Shenandoah County) and the Executive Director is Brandon Davis.
The Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) is composed of 13 local governments, which includes Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince Williams counties; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg and Vienna. With a rich history, NVRC’s (Planning District 8) chief roles and functions have focused on providing information, performing professional and technical services for its members, and serving as a mechanism for regional coordination.

The NVRC has been an active leader and partner in such regional initiatives as environmental planning and resiliency, housing for people with AIDS and the regional provision of Ryan White services, community/military partnerships, solid waste management, water resources, trail planning and a wide myriad of other environmental programs. NVRC has had a partnership agreement with Stuttgart Region (Germany) for more than 20 years enabling the unilateral transfer of ideas and programs to the benefit of the region. Such programs include the Solarize NoVA program, the NoVA solar map, our energy efficiency programs tied to the solar program and several others. Most recently, NVRC completed a study on the economic and social benefits of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which spans 140 miles through eight of the region’s localities. The annual benefit has been determined to be nearly $500 million.
The NVRC area has a population of 2,547,551 (Weldon Cooper Center estimate, July 1, 2020). The Chair of the NVRC Board is Cydny Neville (Town of Dumfries) and the Executive Director is Bob Lazaro.
in the news
As noted above, 12 PDCs/RCs in Virginia were awarded $570 million in December through the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) for broadband expansion projects. These awards, which comprise just under 80% of the $722 million in total funding that was announced, will help fund 14 regional projects across the state in partnership with internet service providers. The projects also plan to leverage more than $770 million in additional resources. During the VATI FY22 application round this Fall, PDCs were the lead applicants on 14 out of 57 grants (nearly 25% of all applications), asking for $640 million of the total of $943 million in requests and proposing nearly 230,000 passings. The grant awards are part of $722 million in state general funds and federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars that are supporting 35 projects covering 70 Virginia localities to connect more than 278,000 households, businesses and anchor institutions to high-speed internet.

The 2022 General Assembly convened January 12 and is scheduled to be in session until March 12.
At VAPDC’s request, Delegate David Bulova and Senator Dave Marsden have introduced budget amendments that seek FY23 funding of $630,000 as a one-time bump ($30,000 per PDC) to assist PDCs with providing technical support to localities related to ARPA funding. Among the legislation requested by our PDCs includes HB 947 and SB 503, which authorize the Virginia Resources Authority to establish a revolving fund to make short-term loans to planning district commissions; and HB 602, which would establish a Commonwealth Flood Board.
Virginia Association of Planning District Commissions | Website
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