The latest on the programs and projects of
the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.
Around the Region
 June 2019
South Fork of the Shenandoah River in
Rockingham County 
50 Years of 
Environmental Planning

In 1972, the CSPDC undertook a regional water, sewer, and solid waste inventory and plan that revealed various levels of inadequacies in the present and future abilities of jurisdictions in the region to provide services. Many of the jurisdictions lacked the financial resources to upgrade existing systems and provide for future needs. Also, in 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required a detailed Water Quality Management Plan which resulted in even more comprehensive analysis and planning for the District. These early planning efforts by the CSPDC helped our jurisdictions with decision-making tools and identification of resources to protect and preserve and shape the development of the region. Since then, the CSPDC has continued to provide environmental planning services to the region to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
During Fiscal Year 1997, the CSPDC was involved with two significant regional environmental projects which encouraged local participation. The first project was the Wellhead Protection Program, where the CSPDC received a grant from the EPA through the VA Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to develop the program, evaluate regional groundwater assets and vulnerability, provide models for wellhead protection strategies, and more.
The second project was the Potomac Tributary Strategy for the Southern Shenandoah Region, where the CSPDC facilitated a regional response to the Virginia Nutrient Reduction Strategy for the Southern Shenandoah Basin. The strategy was developed as a result of the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Act which included a commitment to reduce loads of phosphorus and nitrogen entering the Bay by 40% by 2000. 
In 2018, DEQ began phase III of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP III). Virginia is required to submit a plan to EPA that ensures pollution control measures needed to fully restore the Bay are in place no later than 2025. DEQ contracted with the CSPDC, and other Bay PDCs across the state, to work with localities and stakeholders in the region with identifying Best Management Practices (BMPs) and programmatic actions, and explore ways to implement BMPs. 
CERT volunteers, Pam Hoysradt & Sharon Angle, at the Green Valley Book Fair's Safety Day
CERT Focuses on 
Community  Resiliency

Over the past 16 years, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been focused on community education,  preparedness , and safety. At the foundation of the program is a seven-week training course, offered in the fall and spring, to prepare volunteers on how to assist with community emergencies and mitigation education. The most recent training course was completed on May 23rd. Today, CERT has trained over 1,000 volunteers in our region.   

This year, CERT volunteers assisted Augusta County Fire-Rescue install free smoke alarms in mobile homes and at mobile home parks throughout Augusta County. CERT volunteers also promoted  the program and its safety precautions  at the "Touch-a-Truck" event sponsored by Augusta County Fire-Rescue, the Dooms Fire Department's Kids Fun Day, and the Green Valley Book Fair's Safety Day.  To learn more about how to get involved with this active volunteer team and gain helpful emergency response insights, subscribe to the Resiliency Newsletter or contact the CSPDC.   
Rockingham County Recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community 

Rockingham County is peddling in celebration after the League of American Bicyclists named the County as a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community.  The award was announced in May  in time for Rockingham County and Harrisonburg's celebration of National Bike Month, a time to promote public awareness of bicycle safety and education among cyclists and motorists.  

The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition hosted a free breakfast on Harrisonburg's Court Square on May 17, greeting bikers with freshly brewed coffee, breakfast and raffle prizes. Over 150 bicyclists were in attendance.  The event, along with Staunton's Bike and Walk to Work commuter breakfast, and Waynesboro's Bike the Greenway event, was sponsored by the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission in honor of National Bike Month.

Solar Workshop 
Scheduled for June 11  

The Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley with support from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission is sponsoring a workshop on utility scale solar projects. The workshop aims to help localities understand potential issues and develop the policies and procedures to respond to these large and complex proposals. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 11, from  9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Rockingham County Administrative Building Community Room, 20 East Gay Street in Harrisonburg. If you are unable to attend this workshop, another one will be held on Tuesday, June 18, at Lord Fairfax Community College, in Middletown, VA (Frederick County). Registration is requested for both workshops. 
GO Virginia's RAAMP Program Trains Welders

Rockbridge Area Advanced Manufacturing Program (RAAMP) is a training program for certified welders at Byers Technical Institute in Buena Vista. In 2018, the project received $100,000 in GO Virginia funds that was combined with $100,000 in matching funds from Rockbridge County, City of Buena Vista, and Byers, Inc. This funding supported the hiring of a full- and part-time instructor, the installation of equipment for seven new training booths, the installation of high-speed telecommunication line to the school to improve streaming capabilities, and electrical upgrades to position welding machines in other areas of the shop and to provide additional lighting in the work space. These facility upgrades have increased student capacity and expanded job opportunities within GO Virginia Region 8. Nearly 30 students have completed training programs and have been hired as welders by companies located between Bridgewater and Roanoke, Virginia. 
Paul Terry, BRITE TAC member
BRITE Transit Welcomes New
Rider Representative
At the December 2018 meeting, CSPDC Commissioners approved amending the BRITE Transit Advisory Committee (BTAC) Bylaws to remove the designation of the CATS Board member representation and add an additional BRITE rider representative.The BTAC welcomed Paul Terry as their new representative on May 8 after soliciting expressions of interests for this role. Paul has been riding with BRITE bus for many years, and utilizes the Stuarts Draft Link for transportation to work. The BTAC looks forward to the valuable contributions Paul will offer.

The BTAC is a group of stakeholders dedicated to improving BRITE bus service in the areas of Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro. 
Get Ready to Be Counted During the 2020 Census!

The Census will occur on April 1, 2020 and for the first time, will allow responses to be collected online, in addition to by phone and by mail. This will insure that every household has the opportunity to respond and provide important population measures.  The Census results, collected once a decade, help determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities every year.  Businesses use Census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores. Residents use the Census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.

As the Census date approaches, communities are forming Complete Count Committees (CCCs) that will create strategies and work with nonprofit and civic organizations that serve hard to count populations. The City of Harrisonburg is hosting a Census workshop to address collection challenges and solutions on Monday, June 24, at 5:30 pm in Hart Classroom 255 at Hotel Madison. These collaborative efforts will help insure that the most accurate data possible is collected.  Visit the 2020 Census  website for more information.  
JMU Students Assist CSPDC  with Research

A group of students enrolled in the School of Integrated Sciences at James Madison University spent the spring semester assisting the CSPDC with its update of the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The students researched issues related to climate adaption in the region, sharing information about population, land use, changes to climate and weather patterns, hazard profiles and recommendations, and social impacts. The information was compiled into a chapter that will be included in the 2019 update to the Central Shenandoah Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan. 

The CSPDC would like to say thank you to students Raven Brubach, Macon Thompson, Alex Cherney, Anton Foretich, Jake Rehm, Joe Ziegler and Jesse Fass, as well as JMU professors Dr. Carole Nash, Dr. Mary Handley and Dr. Rod MacDonald for their help!
Participate in Augusta County Broadband Survey

Reliable high-speed internet access is now essential for businesses, education, healthcare, emergency services, and the daily activities of residents. Augusta County has received two State grants to increase high-speed internet services; a Planning Grant in 2016, and an infrastructure development grant for the Arbor Hill area in 2017. Current survey data is crucial to accessing future grant funding to advance broadband infrastructure. Please help us provide important data to support this expansion by participating in this survey. 
Take Survey Now 
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