Since 2005, The City of Charlottesville has planned and administered construction of transportation projects within city limits as part of something called the First Cities program or the Urban Construction Initiative. This includes major projects such as the Belmont Bridge replacement currently underway, and extends to the many Smart Scale projects for which the city has received dozens of millions of dollars in funding.
This week, Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders told City Council on Monday that this arrangement is under review.
“Our leadership and project management teams are completing a review of our [Virginia Department of Transportation] program ahead of a deep dive with VDOT that’s scheduled fot later this month,” Sanders said. “We anticipate some changes that we’ll be bringing to Council in regards to how we manage those projects going forward.”
The members of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission have indicated support for two separate planning efforts for more pathways in the region. Both Albemarle County and Greene County are seeking federal funds to build new infrastructure.
“The grant would fund a shared bike pedestrian path from the city of Charlottesville to Crozet likely along U.S. 250,” said Jessica Hersh-Ballering, a transportation planner with Albemarle County. “From there it would continue west all the way to the Blue Ridge Tunnel in Nelson County.”
In March 2021, former Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order banning state agencies from buying, selling, or distributing single-use plastics.
His successor, Governor Glenn Youngkin, has called that directive “burdensome” and yesterday replaced it with a new one that directs state agencies to recognize the value of recycling.
“It is the policy of the Commonwealth, and all executive branch state agencies, including state institutions of higher education, and their concessioners (Agency or Agencies) to increase awareness of the importance of recycling and better capture recyclable material, as well as encourage the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) products and biodegradable materials,” reads Executive Order 17.
The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission has awarded $1.8 million in funds to regional housing nonprofits and entities. The funding comes from a $2 million grant to the TJPDC from the entity formerly known as the Virginia Housing Development Authority for the purpose of constructing or preserving affordable housing.
“By virtue of us receiving $2 million, we are obligated to construct at least 20 new affordable housing units,” said Ian Baxter, a planner with the TJPDC.
After 25 months, the Albemarle Board of Supervisors have held a meeting in Lane Auditorium, where they have met since the county acquired the former Lane High School for an administration building back in the late 70’s. Members of the public were there, too, and Rivanna Supervisor Bea LaPisto-Kirtley noted the occasion.
“I just wanted to welcome everybody who came today and it’s wonderful to be back in person and to see so many people and all of us to be together,” LaPisto-Kirtley said.