The latest on the programs and projects of
the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.
Around the Region
February 2019

50 Years of Population Growth in the Region 

The CSPDC is proud to serve the estimated 301,485 residents within the five rural counties, five cities, and eleven towns that comprise the region. Over the past five decades, the region's population has increased 61.8%, going from 1 86,306 in 1970 to an estimated 301,485 in 2018. The region gained the most residents (33,738) between 1990 and 2000. Although population increases have slowed since 2010, the region still displays healthy and steady growth patterns. 

The City of Harrisonburg with an astounding 274% increase, gained more people than any other locality in the region since 1970 and was designated a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) following the 2000 U.S. Census. Ten years later, following the 2010 Census, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro  area was designated an MSA. This reflects their role as an area with a high level of social and economic interaction between the cities and county. As it was in 1969,  Rockingham County is the CSPDC's most populated locality while Highland County remains the lowest populated locality with 2,265 people. 
B-H Broadband Authority Created & Holds First Meeting 
The Bath-Highland Network Authority, created in 2017 to seek broadband solutions and funding opportunities for the counties of Bath and Highland, held its first organizational meeting on January 10, 2019 at the Bolar Ruritan Club in Highland County. The Authority is made up of representatives  from Bath County, Highland County, and the Town of Monterey. Mr. Ashton Harrison of Bath County was elected Chair and Ms. Nancy Witschey of Highland County was elected Vice Chair. CSPDC acts as fiscal agent and provides staff support to the Authority . The next Authority meeting will be on April 8, 2019 and will continue to meet quarterly on the second Monday of the month. 
HRMPO Studies 
Port Republic Road

The Harrisonburg - Rockingham MPO is conducting an operational and safety analysis of the Port Republic Road corridor between South Main Street and Devon Lane in Harrisonburg and testing the outcomes of specific treatments to determine their effectiveness. The results supported by 3-D visualizations and measurable benefits, will provide decision makers and the public with recommended improvements. The objective is to reduce travel times and improve the level of service and safety to this primary corridor.  

public meeting to solicit community input on potential improvements  will be held Wednesday, February 20, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 pm in the Harrisonburg City Council Chambers, 409 South Main Street. 
Farm2Fork Affair: March 5

The Fields of Gold Farm Trail will have an information booth at the one-day Farm2Fork Affair. This event connects Shenandoah Valley farmers and producers with buyers throughout Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Buyers representing restaurants, universities, hospitals, lodgings and retail establishments can conveniently sample and source products from our rich agricultural region.

This year the Farm2Fork Affair will be held at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on March 5 and is a collaborative effort of Shenandoah Valley economic development and tourism organizations. Prior to the event, a workshop will provide guidance to participating producers on how to create a professional display and effectively network with potential clients. 
Butch Wells and Sal Romero
CSPDC Welcomes 
New  Commissioners 

Mr. Butch Wells was appointed to the CSPDC  Commission to represent Augusta County. He is a member of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and a retired Chief of Police for the City of Staunton. 

Mr. Sal Romero was appointed as the City of Harrisonburg's representative to the CSPDC to replace Mr. Ted Byrd. Mr. Romero, Harrisonburg City Council Vice Chairman, is  Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement for Harrisonburg City Public Schools.
HOME Funds Awarded

The HOME Down Payment Assistance Program in the Central Shenandoah Valley region has received funding to assist approximately eight first-time, low to moderate income homebuyers in 2019. Created to help eligible homebuyers obtain safe and affordable housing, this program has helped approximately 250 people in our region grow their personal wealth and equity through home ownership.  The CSPDC partners with lenders and housing providers in the area to identify eligible homebuyers.
SMART Scale Projects Scored 

The Secretary of Transportation released a list of scored and ranked SMART SCALE project applications to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) on January 15, 2019. The list included the top scoring projects proposed for funding. SMART SCALE projects are funded through a Statewide High Priority Project fund, and through District Grant funds. Nine projects in the CSPDC region are proposed for funding out of 35 submitted.
CSPDC supported the SMART SCALE effort throughout 2018 by sharing information with localities and VDOT, developing project applications, reviewing applications, and providing resolutions of support from the Commission and MPOs. The Secretary's staff will continue to work with the CTB to finalize the funded projects list prior to its adoption in the FY 2020 Six Year Improvement Program in June, 2019.

CSPDC Updates Mitigation Plan  

In January, the CSPDC began updating the Central Shenandoah Valley All Hazards Mitigation Plan that was created in 2005 and previously updated in 2013.  During the update, hazards are examined, risks assessed, and mitigation options such as local planning/regulations, structure and infrastructure projects, and education/awareness programs are identified. 

Under Title 44 of the Federal Code of Regulations, a FEMA approved mitigation plan is required to receive certain mitigation funding in the aftermath of a federally declared disaster. This plan enables a community to adapt to changing conditions and ensures a rapid recovery from disruption. Through the plan, communities in the Central Shenandoah Valley participate in a planning process that allows them to proactively protect themselves, build self-sufficiency, and become more sustainable. 
Thank You Bill Rolfe for Your Service
In January 2019, the region lost William Cabell "Bill" Rolfe, age 68.  Bill, a veteran of the U.S. Airforce and graduate of Old Dominion University, spent 35 years in County Administration throughout Virginia.  Most recently, Bill served as Town Manager for the Town of Glasgow where he implemented several new and innovative projects for the community. Bill's life was centered around public service. He will be missed in Glasgow, our region, and many communities throughout Virginia.

In honor of Bill, CSPDC staff has made a donation to the Glasgow Farmers Market Pavilion , one of the special projects that Bill carried out in Glasgow. 
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