The Albemarle Economic Development Office has officially completed a planning study for a portion of the county around the Woolen Mills Factory on the western banks of the Rivanna River. (read the report)
“The general idea was to take the 46 and a half acres on the Broadway Corridor and turn that into a place that people, businesses, and activities all occur at the same time and everyone would like to be there,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s economic development director.
Albemarle County is considering taking advantage of new state laws that allow the use of Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas to help boost tourism and economic development.
“It’s a geographic area licensed by the ABC annually that allows the consumption of alcoholic beverages—wine, beer, mixed beverages—within public spaces or inside a business without an ABC license as long as the business owner agrees,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s Economic Development Director.
The proposed budget for Albemarle County for fiscal year 2023 contains a recommendation from County Executive Jeffrey Richardson that will give the Albemarle Economic Development Authority a large pot of money to use to help close deals.
“Our Board has heard the recommendation from Mr. Richardson to put $5 million back into the economic development investment pool,” said Roger Johnson, the county’s economic development director. “That would sort of reestablish our investment pool that we have spending over the last four years or so. It is getting lowered as every project comes along.”
This month all of Albemarle’s seven advisory committees have been briefed on transportation projects from the county’s planning staff. In recent years, Albemarle has been successful at securing money for projects, such as the conversion of the Route 151 and U.S. 250 intersection to a roundabout.
On March 8, 2022, the Crozet Community Advisory Committee had their turn. Planning Manager Kevin McDermott explained how the process works in Albemarle.
“We regularly update a list of transportation priorities and this list basically is every project that’s been identified,” McDermott said. (read the list)
The Albemarle Economic Development Authority met with leaders of the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center in closed session last week to share information about the nonprofit’s ability to pay back a loan that dates back to 2013.
“The pandemic of course dealt us a hefty blow as I think it did most nonprofits,” said Malou Stark, the president of the center’s Board of Directors. “We were not able to open during most of the pandemic. We began very small last fall with very private small group tours of two or three people at a time.”
Earlier this year, Council met its legal obligations to advertise in a newspaper of record a potential tax rate for the current calendar year.
“You authorized us to go up to ten cents which would present $9.2 million in revenue,” said interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers said.
Rogers’ recommended budget did not anticipate spending any of that funding, but left it unallocated pending Council’s discussion about whether they want to entertain a property tax rate. Rogers is recommending a two cent increase this year for the school project.
Charlottesville City Council held a public hearing Monday on the real estate tax rate and personal property tax rate for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Shortly before, Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers presented Council with several ways forward on raising funds in the next five years for paying up to $75 million for the renovation of Buford Middle School. (review the presentation)
“For the FY23 budget I recommend that Council should enact a two cent real estate tax and set the money aside within the capital projects fund earmarked as the beginning of an annual funding program to generate funds for school reconfiguration,” Rogers said.
Charlottesville is pursuing Smart Scale funding for improvements to Fifth Street Extended as part of an overall effort to prevent future fatalities on the roadway. The city is looking at the area between Old Ridge Street and Harris Road.
“This study focuses on improvement concepts that target known needs, reduce community impacts, and address all modes in a cost-effective manner,” reads the introduction. “Projects and solutions may be considered for future funding through local, regional, state and/or federal transportation programs — but not without first getting YOUR INPUT!”
Now that a federal lawsuit seeking to force a House of Delegates race in 2022 has been sent back to the Eastern District of Virginia, Judge David Novak has provided a path forward for how the suit will proceed.
Plaintiff Paul Goldman has until Friday to file arguments for why he feels he has the legal standing to bring forward a case against the Board of Elections that challenges the constitutionality of allowing Delegates elected in 2021 to continue to serve until the end of 2023.