Lexington Area Selected for Walkability Institute

The Virginia Walkability Action Institute, a program hosted by the Virginia Department of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focuses on opportunities to enhance walkability in communities. The Institute brings together multi-disciplinary teams to pursue policy, systems and environmental changes to increase physical activity and reduce chronic disease.
A team from the Lexington area has been selected to participate in the program. Team members include Amanda McComas from the Central Shenandoah Health District, Arne Glaeser and Leslie Straughan from Lexington, Tom Roberts from Buena Vista, and Ann Cundy from the CSPDC. The program kicked off in April, and will conclude in September 2019. The team will develop an action plan for improving walkability in the Lexington area.

First Walk-Bike Summit in SAW Region Held

Sixty elected officials, planners, advocates, and public health practitioners gathered on April 26 at the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences for the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro (SAW) region’s first annual Walk-Bike Summit. The Summit’s mission is to “improve the health, safety, and economy of our community by connecting community partners who want to make Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro a more walk and bike friendly place to live and visit.” After hearing a keynote address from Pete Eshelman, the director of the Roanoke Outdoors Foundation, and updates on ongoing local initiatives to create new opportunities to walk and bike in our region, attendees brainstormed goals and action steps to advance the Summit’s mission through their personal and professional work. There are plans of making this an annual event.

2020 VATI Input Sessions 

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will host two input sessions to discuss the proposed FY2020 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) guidelines and criteria. The first session will focus on gathering feedback and input from internet service providers, while the second input session will focus on gathering feedback and input from units of local government and citizens. The first meeting will be held on May 17 in Richmond and the second May 28 in Glen Allen. Registration is requested for attendance.
DHCD has $19 million in VATI Funds to implement broadband infrastructure deployment in partnership with units of local government and private internet service providers across the Commonwealth. The funds will be used to extend service to areas that presently are unserved by any broadband provider.

May is National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month – an annual celebration to increase awareness and participation in bicycling, and showcase its many health and environmental benefits.
The CSPDC’s Bike the Valley and RideShare programs are assisting the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition with events and activities centered around Bike to Work Day (May 17) in the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Waynesboro.
On Friday, May 17: Staunton’s Bike & Walk to Work Commuter Breakfast will be held  at the Wharf parking lot from 7:30 – 9:30 am. Harrisonburg’s Bike Everywhere Day will be held at Court Square downtown from 7:00 – 10:00 am. On Saturday, May 18: Waynesboro will host Bike the Greenway on the South River Greenway at Constitution Park from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. All three events are free and open to the public.
Visit Bike the Valley and SVBC for additional bike activities being held throughout May, including Bike to School Day on May 8, and the Ride of Silence on May 15.

50 Years of Community Development

In the 1970s, a regional inventory revealed that there were significant needs and lack of financial resources to upgrade existing public utility systems within our region. Since that time, the CSPDC has provided technical assistance to all 21 jurisdictions through identifying and evaluating solutions to problems; assisting with grant applications and administration; assisting with seeking and obtaining financing; and completing GPS and mapping services for utilities.
In 1998, the CSPDC established the Central Shenandoah Development Corporation, a 501c(3) organization. The program provided an innovative approach to providing technical assistance for infrastructure projects and was the first of its kind to be established by any Planning District in Virginia.
To highlight just a few of the projects the CSPDC has been involved with over the years:
  • A $10 million upgrade to a conventional wastewater treatment facility serving Craigsville and the Augusta Correctional Center.
  • A $2.7 million project in Goshen to replace the public water system with new water lines, water storage tank and water meters for each connection. (The previous system experienced a massive failure resulting in a declared state of emergency!)
  • The $2.5 million Bacova Regional Sewer System project, which included improvements to the Hot Springs Treatment Plant to bring a reliable and expanded sewer system to Bath County.
  • A $1 million CDBG grant to the City of Buena Vista to repair Dickinson Well, the city’s largest well source.
These projects have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our region and were made possible thanks to important partnerships with federal, state and local governments and other organizations.