Albemarle County and the Legal Aid Justice Center helped prevent 158 evictions in a pilot program that ran from December to this May. Albemarle County sent out a press release this morning announcing the results.
“Many rent-relief programs are phasing out, yet there remain many Albemarle families still deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Supervisor Chair Donna Price is quoted in the release. “Low-income households have not recovered as quickly, and programs such as this provide additional stability for households continuing to face financial hardships, using federal relief dollars to fund legal services and to provide wrap-around support.”
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors took eight actions yesterday to complete the process of development and adopting a budget for FY23. They began with the tax rates. (view the presentation)
“We have the real estate, mobile homes and public service tax rate of 85.4 cents (per $100 of assessed value) that is the calendar year 2022 rate,” said Andy Bowman, chief of the Office of Management and Budget in Albemarle. “For personal property rate, which also applies to machinery and tool taxes, the current rate is currently $4.28 cents per $100 and it is proposed to be reduced to $3.22 per $100 of assessed value.”
The Albemarle Board of Supervisors has agreed to spend an additional $2.5 million in public money on a public-private partnership to redevelop the Barnes Lumber yard in Crozet to provide the infrastructure for a more urban character.
Supervisors had previously agreed to the partnership in 2019. The original agreement required the county to pay $1.6 million toward the plaza and to provide the equivalement amount in tax rebates through a synthetic tax increment financing scheme.
“For the last five years, we have engaged in an aspirational dream out in Crozet, hoping for a plaza,” Bates said. “A couple years back that dream began to get some real teeth to it when you as a Board acted to develop an agreement between New Town Associates, DCI, and yourself, the county itself.”
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.”
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.
The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority’s Board of Directors most recently met on March 22, 2022 and got an introduction to the budget for fiscal year 2023. The RSWA’s Board is made up of one Charlottesville City Councilor, one Albemarle Supervisors, two city staffers, two county staffers, and a citizen appointed by both elected bodies.
This year’s winter storms wreaked havoc on many trees across the region, and there was much debris for government crews and property owners. In January, the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority waived fees to drop off downed limbs and trees at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center where it was turned into mulch.
“We had so much mulch available after the free vegetative debris disposal program from the storm in January that we had so much mulch, we were giving away the first two tons and then charging people after that,” said Bill Mawyer, the executive director of the RWSA and the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority.
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.
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will not vote to adopt a budget for fiscal year 2023 until May 4, 2022, but between now and then there will be many work sessions in which the six elected officials will give a thorough review.
On Wednesday, March 9, they got straight to work with a three-hour session in which they went through the operational budget, which is based on anticipated revenues of $368.25 million.
Forty-five percent is transferred to Albemarle County Public Schools. The next largest expenditure is for public safety at fourteen percent, followed by a 10 percent that goes to the capital fund mostly for debt service.