Category Archives: Budget – Albemarle

Albemarle Economic Development Authority supports two grants

This week, the Albemarle Economic Development Authority offered financial support to grants already received by local nonprofits. In many cases involving state or federal programs, large awards require some local money in the form of matching grants. 

The Bridge PAI has received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a project called Unsettling Grounds that will reexamine space in the Broadway corridor that has been studied by the county as an area for economic development. The EDA will contribute $5,000 to the project. 

“The idea of the title Unsettled Grounds is a project that uses some experimental methods to try and create monuments and works by and for Black, indigenous, and low-income artists, supporting them their artistic endeavors,” said Jay Simple, the executive director of the Bridge Performing Arts Initiative. 

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Redevelopment work continues at Southwood

Work continues to redevelop the Southwood Mobile Home Park as a mixed-use community that will offer new homes to those who have lived there. The chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville gave an update to the Albemarle County Economic Development Authority on Tuesday. 

“So when Southwood is done it will be somewhere between 1,000 and 1,100 homes and up to 700 of them will be affordable depending on subsidies that we get and how things develop,” said Dan Rosensweig, Habitat’s chief executive officer. 

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Albemarle Supervisors approves rental of former J.C. Penney as public safety operations center

Albemarle County will move forward with the lease of a former department store at Fashion Square Mall to serve as a new operations facility for fire and police. 

“It does have a central location, it’s got a very large warehouse, with a great loading dock,” said Lance Stewart, the county’s director of facilities and environmental services.  “All together it’s about 33,000 square feet which is almost a third of the J.C. Penney site. 

On July 20, Supervisors authorized a lease and signaled a willingness to pay over $3 million in capital costs to get it ready for public safety work. 

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Albemarle and LAJC have teamed up to prevent evictions

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.”

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Council briefed on tourism group’s efforts to bring in more visitors

Hotel occupancy in Albemarle and Charlottesville continues to rebound with overnight stats in April of this year slightly above the previous year, but still below pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re recovering a bit,” said Courtney Cacatian, the executive director of the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our hotel occupancy is still limited by our workforce here.” 

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Albemarle Board adopts $586.3 million budget

Stalemate continues on synthetic turf fields 

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.” 

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Albemarle Supervisors approve $2.5 million in infrastructure funding for Barnes Lumber project

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. 

Doug Bates is on the board of the Downtown Crozet Initiative, a nonprofit group also working toward the effort. 

“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.”

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Albemarle and Greene both receive regional support for major trail planning grants

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.” 

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TJPDC funds three affordable housing projects; Charlottesville funds five

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. 

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Solid waste update: Mulch madness, clean fill, and the FY23 budget

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. 

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