SAWMPO Study Evaluating Safety Improvements at Six Intersections

The SAWMPO is beginning a new study to address priority safety concerns at six intersections in Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro. The study will evaluate safety improvements based on crash history, current and future traffic volume, roadway design, and other site characteristics to identify candidate projects for future grant applications through programs such as SMARTSCALE, TAP, Revenue Sharing, and the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). The consultant-led study is expected to be complete in Spring 2023.

Go Virginia Region 8 Council to Consider Airport Proposal

The GO Virginia Region 8 Council will meet at Blue Ridge Community College on October 18 to consider a funding request from the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission for the continued development of the Shenandoah Valley Aviation Technology Park. The Airport Commission includes representatives from the counties of Augusta and Rockingham and the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Harrisonburg. The proposed GO Virginia project will relocate utilities from the middle of the 58-acre site to its perimeter. This will create the opportunity to construct additional hangars to meet the distinctive needs of aviation-related businesses. The utility relocation project directly follows a design and engineering phase that was supported by a GO Virginia Enhanced Capacity Building grant and a hangar construction project, currently underway, that is supported by an Economic Development Administration Public Works grant. The CSPDC provided technical assistance and grant administration services for these projects.

CSPDC Holds Staff Retreat

The CSPDC held its annual staff retreat at Montgomery Hall Park in Staunton for a group picture painting session with art instructor, Noelia Nunez. As part of the staff retreat, a webinar on cyber security in the workplace will be held later in the month.

Mountain Gateway Project Awarded EDA Grant

The development of Mountain Gateway Community College’s (MGCC) Workforce and Entrepreneurial Center just got a boost from a $3 million grant through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Assistance to Coal Communities initiative. Funding will be used to renovate an existing building in downtown Buena Vista as a manufacturing training center and entrepreneurial innovation laboratory. The project will expand the college’s capacity to deliver training and award industry credentials to meet local employers’ workforce needs in the areas of advanced manufacturing, machining, welding, HVAC, and diesel mechanics. The facility also will serve as an innovation lab where entrepreneurs can exchange ideas and collaborate as they start or grow businesses. As a designated EDA Economic Development District, the CSPDC provided technical assistance for MGCC’s application.

Bath County Hires New County Administrator

Following a nationwide search, Bath County’s Board of Supervisors has named Michael Bender as the County Administrator. A native of Chesterfield, Virginia, Mr. Bender has over 28 years of experience in public service. He most recently served as a Division Commander for the Richmond, Virginia Police Department.

As the County Administrator, Mr. Bender will manage and coordinate the overall day-to-day operations and activities of the County government. He will relieve Janet Bryan who has diligently served as the Interim County Administrator since the departure of Ashton Harrison earlier this year. Ms. Bryan will return to her role as the Executive Assistant/Deputy Clerk to the Board.

Mr. Bender holds a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Update on PDC Housing Development Grant

The PDC Housing Development Grant, which provides gap funds to affordable housing developers in our region, is well underway with seven partners across the region working toward the development of 60 new housing units.

Several projects, including Valley Supportive Housing’s Pump Street Apartments, Friendly City Development, LLC’s Suter Street Neighborhood Development, and Foley 11 LLC’s Foley Road Efficiencies Project, are in the process of completing engineering & design work and are awaiting permitting before breaking ground.

The Fairfax Hall Rehabilitation Project in Waynesboro received a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award in early Fall which will finance a significant portion of the project, and is completing final project financing, planning, and design specifications. They plan to begin work in 2023.

Our Community Place’s Block House Apartments project has begun initial demolition and building rehabilitation work, and initial interior construction activities are underway.

Rockbridge Habitat for Humanity’s Greenhouse Village Project has completed water and sewer connections and has begun initial site work on two of the eight home sites. On October 4th, CSPDC staff made a site visit to check out the future home sites for the final phase of the Greenhouse Village project, and had a chance to walk through a recently completed Habitat home.

All projects are expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.

IRF Grant Applications Due on Nov. 4

Applications are now being accepted for the FY2023 Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) Planning Grant, which is available to help bolster early-stage projects, enabling feasibility studies and other planning-related activities for potential IRF applicants in Spring 2023.

Applications must be received no later than 11:59 PM on November 04, 2022. Please review the FY2023 IRF Planning Grant Guidelines and the How-to-Apply webinar recording for additional details before submitting an application. If you have any questions, please email

Region 8 Council Welcomes New Executive Director

At its October meeting, the GO Virginia Region 8 Council will welcome its new Executive Director, Deborah Flippo of MDM Flippo Consulting, LLC. Ms. Flippo brings 31 years of marketing and business experience to the position, working regularly with local, regional, and state economic development organizations. She has served on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership Board of Directors; the Virginia Economic Developers Association, serving as President in 2016; two regional economic development organization’s Boards; and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership’s Lead Generation Committee. In her role as Executive Director, Ms. Flippo will help the Region 8 Council lead and fund successful projects that contribute to the economic growth of the region.

Celebrations Ensue for the Maury River’s Scenic River Designation

Rockbridge Outdoors along with Rockbridge County, The City of Lexington, and The City of Buena Vista will commemorate the Maury River’s designation as a Virginia Scenic River this October. The local jurisdictions are throwing a community ceremony and reception at Jordan’s Point Park on October 16th at 2:00 pm. In early April, legislation passed to designate the remaining portion of the Maury River as a Virginia Scenic River. Now the entirety of the Maury, which flows through Rockbridge, Lexington, Buena Vista, and Glasgow, is part of the statewide program. Virginia’s Scenic Rivers Program intends to help protect rivers that possess outstanding scenic, recreational, and natural characteristics. To be awarded this designation, the local governing body asks DCR to conduct an eligibility study and then requests their state legislator to sponsor a bill.

Bath-Highland Network Authority Public Meeting

The Bath-Highland Network Authority will hold a meeting on October 17, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., at the Bolar Ruritan Club, 38 Bolar Ln Monterey, VA 24465. For more information about the meeting, please contact Ms. Hunter Moore at 540-885-5174, ext. 118 or