Monthly Archives: April 2023

Two out of five phases completed for transit governance study

There are many words to be written and stories to be documented about the future of public transit in the community. Both Albemarle and Charlottesville contributed financially to a study last year that imagined a more robust system, and are now paying for a second study to find a governance structure that could bring down more funding from the state and federal government. 

There are five phases in this study with the first being a list of existing conditions. A second phase looked at peer communities such as Blacksburg and Ithaca, New York, and this has just been completed. (view the March 21 presentation)

“Where we are looking at governance structures of other transit agencies in similar areas,” said Stephanie Amoaning-Yankson is with AECOM, the firm hired to conduct both of the studies to date. “Phase three will look at potential revenue generation.” 

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City manager’s report: Contract awarded for Buford renovation

The Charlottesville Community Engagement newsletter for April 4, 2023 had several items from the report from the interim City Manager but here are some more odds and ends from the written report:

  • The application window is open for the Community Attention Youth Internship Program for positions this summer for the period between June 26 through August 6. Youth can apply here
  • The search for a new Director of Communications is in the final stages and the position is expected to be filled soon. It has been vacant since late 2021 when Brian Wheeler resigned. 
  • Joy Johnson is the chair of the new Housing Advisory Committee. Her appointment to the body is the only one filled of three slots for “affordable housing beneficiaries.” In addition to being a resident of a Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority property, Johnson is also the Section 3 coordinator for the agency. (current Section 3 policy)
  • A strategic plan for the city’s Economic Development office is expected to be complete in July 2023. The firm Resonance is working on the study, which is being overseen by a 16-member steering committee. A total of 280 people filled out a survey. (Survey launches for Charlottesville economic development plan, February 1, 2023)
  • CAT will spend an additional $3 million allocated to increase service throughout the system with a focus on Route 6. 
  • A contract has been awarded to Nielsen Construction for the renovation of Buford Middle School due to their lowest bid of $71.4 million. The total project cost is $84.3 million, with $5.5 million of that already allocated in previous budgets. That brings the total amount needed in FY24 to $78.8 million. This work will not include renovation of the Buford auditorium. 
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Charlottesville City Schools hit pause on school name change

Charlottesville City Schools have been in the midst of reviewing the names of all schools to see if they fit with the division’s current values. So far, the elementary school known as Venable is now Trailblazer and the one known as Clark is now Summit.

The School Board had been scheduled to vote on April 13 on new names for Johnson Elementary and Burnley-Moran Elementary out of a sense that the namesakes were people who worked for the school system during a racist era. 

However, Vice Mayor Juandiego Wade said the other night that the process is on hold. 

“I just heard from a School Board member that they have paused the name change for the schools,” Wade said.  

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Charlottesville issues denial for 0 East High project for third time

The City of Charlottesville has once again written a letter indicating they will deny a preliminary site plan for 245 apartment units to be built on undeveloped land off of East High Street. (read the letter)

Seven Development is working with Shimp Engineering on a technical plan for the project, which would require fill dirt to be imported to elevate three buildings out of the floodplain. 

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Council takes first step toward approving FY24 budget

There is one more budget work session scheduled for Charlottesville City Council, but on Monday the elected body took the first step toward adopting a $227.7 million budget for fiscal year 2024. That’s slightly higher than what was originally presented in early March. 

“There is a difference of $1,456,900 from the proposed budget that I initially presented,” said interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. 

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