CSPDC and Community Partners Host Screening of The Street Project Film

The CSPDC is partnering with Augusta Health, the Central Shenandoah Valley Office on Youth, the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition, and Waynesboro Parks and Recreation to sponsor a screening of The Street Project, a film about creating safer streets for all road users – walkers, bike riders, and drivers. This event will be held at the Wayne Theater on June 20 at 7 pm. This pay-what-you-will event will include brief opening remarks, the film, and an opportunity for question and answer/discussion with local panelists following the film.

More About the Film

The Street Project is a 52-minute documentary that covers three main topics through an uplifting narrative: 1) the current crisis in bicyclist and pedestrian traffic accidents and fatalities, 2) the historical developments that led us to this crisis, 3) infrastructure, planning, and design strategies to improve road safety for all users, improve transportation equity, and build strong communities.

In 2010, the small community of specialists who pay attention to US road safety statistics picked up on a troubling trend: more and more pedestrians and bicyclists riders were being killed on America’s roads. In fact, pedestrian deaths have increased steadily since reaching their low point in 2009. 2022 (the latest year for which data are available) was the deadliest year for pedestrians in the US since 1981. The Street Project includes interviews with a diverse array of experts, including street historian Peter Norton, city planner Jeff Speck, and urban design expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. These expert interviews are interwoven with the stories of people working to make their communities safer. For more information about the film and/or to watch the trailer, click https://www.thestreetproject.com/about/

The Wayne Theater is located at 521 West Main Street in Waynesboro, VA. Doors will open at 6 pm.

If you plan to attend, please register at this link https://forms.gle/Fi2Q6WdVMnEE6nGF9.

We hope to see you there!

CSPDC’s Watershed Wellness Mini-Grant Program Awards Five Projects

The CSPDC is pleased to award five grants through the Watershed Wellness Mini-Grant Program. The grants are used for the planning and installation of stormwater best management practices through the Commission’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) program. The program is funded by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in support the State of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay pollution reduction goals.

The grantees include the towns of Bridgewater, Buena Vista, and Elkton, and the non-profit Rockbridge Conservation based in Lexington. Four installation projects were awarded for the planting of native trees, shrubs, and compost application in dense urban settings and along stream banks to address erosion, run-off, and sediment. One planning study was awarded to identify BMPs to address streambank run-off along a walking trail.

The grant program provides up to $3,500 in non-match funding for stormwater BMP planning and installation for localities and non-profits in the CSPDC region.

Ann Cundy Hired as New Executive Director

The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission has selected Ann Cundy to serve as the new Executive Director of the CSPDC. Ann has served the CSPDC for over 11 years, most recently as the Director of Transportation where she managed the agency’s transportation and transit programs. Her new position took effect April 1. She follows Bonnie Riedesel who retired after working at the CSPDC for 29 years and serving as its Executive Director since 2008.

Frank Friedman, Vice Chair of the CSPDC, says “I am delighted to announce that Ann will lead the agency in the years ahead. The CSPDC will benefit from her tremendous knowledge of planning and years of experience. I invite all our member jurisdictions to congratulate Ann and to support her future success.” All the Commissioners look forward to supporting Ann and the entire CSPDC team in serving our 21 jurisdictions in the region.

DHCD IRF Program Application Timeline Open Through May 31

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) opened their FY 2025 Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) grant application timeframe on April 1, 2024. The IRF program aims to transform vacant, non-residential buildings from a physically and economically blighted state to structures that drive commercial success, community revitalization, and job creation. Qualifying facilities include ones previously used for manufacturing, logistics, power production, and mining. Additionally, large-scale buildings like shopping centers, schools, mixed-use (as long as 30% of the project is commercial), department stores, hotels, and theaters are eligible properties. Local governments, including economic/industrial development authorities, are eligible to submit applications for the IRF program.

Units of local  government can apply for IRF funding to use on publicly owned property or on behalf of a for-profit or non-profit entity for privately owned property. The IRF grants or loans provide up to $1M in funding. To exhibit project viability and the applicant’s commitment, local governments must provide a 100 percent (1:1) match from private or public sources. The IRF funding priorities include: a) relationship to a local or regional economic development strategy; b) high degree of blight and deterioration to be addressed; c) project readiness; d) project with a clear end use; e) end use has clear and significant community economic impact; and f) high economic distress in project locality.

IRF grant applications are due in CAMS (Centralized Application and Management System) on May 31, 2024 with the grant award announcement expected in the summer of 2024. For more information on the IRF program, visit this DHCD webpage: https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/irf. For additional assistance, please contact the CSPDC at (540) 558-5174.


FEMA Approves CSPDC Funding for Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

On January 25 the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) notified the CSPDC of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) approval decision to source a significant portion of the Central Shenandoah Valley Hazard Mitigation Plan (CSHMP) update. The CSHMP update cost estimate is $140,000. FEMA will provide 75% in funding, the State will source a 20% match, and the CSPDC will furnish the remaining 5% cost-share requirement. FEMA is also providing an additional $7K in sub-recipient management cost funds for the effort.

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Bonnie Riedesel Announces Her Retirement

Bonnie Riedesel announced her retirement as Executive Director of the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.  She will retire in March 2024.  Bonnie began working as a Regional Planner in 1994 and became Executive Director in 2008.

In her 29 years at the CSPDC, Bonnie was instrumental in creating and collaborating on a number of important regional projects and programs, including Fields of Gold, Virginia’s first farm trail.  Working with over 200 farmers and agri-businesses, Fields of Gold marketed the Shenandoah Valley as the premier agritourism destination in the state.

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PDC Housing Development Program Partners Continue Building in 2024

The CSPDC’s PDC Housing Development Grant is nearing its three-year mark in June 2024, and the seven partners that were awarded a total of $1.66 million in gap funding for their affordable housing developments have made significant progress over the past year. Given delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions, the deadline to complete all projects has been moved to June 2025. Upon completion, the grant will result in the development of 58 new units of affordable housing in the Central Shenandoah region.

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CSPDC Assisting Waynesboro with South River Preserve Tree Planting

The CSPDC Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) program will be receiving nearly $300,000 through the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to fund stormwater improvements for the City of Waynesboro’s South River Preserve Project. The funding will be used to replace five-acres of former industrial land and impervious surface along the South River with native tree and plant species to establish a floodplain forest and meadow.

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