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T he POSTAL CUSTOMER Colonial Beach • Westmoreland Page 15 Volume 38, Number 6 helping you relate to your community Wednesday, February 5, 2014 50 Cents Col. Beach will present stronger revitalization grant application Photos by Patricia Wright) Clockwise: Spelling Bee participants and Westmoreland County Spelling Bee School Champions. Third grader, Bryan Vasquez, spelling at the Bee. Catherine Rice, Assistant Superintendent, joins Trinity Fauntleroy, runner-up, and Brianna Bartley, Spelling Bee winner. Brianna Bartley, Montross Middle School sixth grader is congratulated by Catherine Rice, Assistant Superintendent, on her win as Spelling Bee champion. Brianna Bartley named WCPS Spelling Bee Champ Patty Long Westmoreland County Public Schools It took 44 words and 7 rounds before a winner was declared for the Westmoreland County Public Schools’ spelling bee district championship. At the end of the evening, sixth grader, Brianna Bartley, from Montross Middle School, sealed her victory by spelling correctly the final word of the night. The runner-up was fifth grader, Trinity Fauntleroy from Cople Elementary School. Ms. Bartley will now prepare for the regional contest in Fredericksburg. The Spelling Bee Participants were Cople Elementary; first grade, Nathan Waldrop (alternate, Devin Garnett); second grade, Courtney Tolson (alternate, Whitnee Rotenizer), third grade, Bryan Vasquez (alternate, Tori Burner), fourth grade, Lilly Daugherty (alternate, Ethan Smith) and fifth grade, Trinity Fauntleroy (alternate, Forrest Fauntleroy). Representatives from Washington District were; first grade, Alyssa Weedon(alternate, Aubry Wilson), second grade, Lilianne Peterschmidt (alternate, Allen Meadows), third grade, Alysia Johnson (alternate, Jordan Saunders), fourth grade, Samantha Carr (alternate, Katelyn Whittington.), and fifth grade, Kelsey Henry (alternate, Brandon Lee). Montross Middle School was represented by sixth grade, Brianna Bartley (alternate, Capria Tate), seventh grade, Lelah Stevens (alternate, Christian Ransome), and eighth grade, Kyra Banks (alternate, (Carlee Slater). The event was coordinated by Anne Glancy, Director Emeritus of Instruction and Assessment and Carole Alexander of Washington District Elementary School. The spelling bee announcer was Carole Kelley, Director of Special Education. Judges included Cathy Rice, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Assessment, Patty Long, Home and Public Relations Specialist, and Joyce Clayton, Assistant Superintendent Emeritus. School coordinators were Cople, Pat Wright; Washington District, Eddie Bowen; and Montross Middle, Michael Ransome. The student facilitator was Julie Weicht, Early Intervention Specialist. The National Spelling Bee was started in 1925 by the Louisville Courier-Journal, which had conducted a statewide match to find the best grade-school spellers in Kentucky. They then decided to extend the challenge to other newspapers to choose their own champions to take part in a spelling showdown in Washington, DC, to determine a national champion. Nine contestants competed. In 1941, Scripps took over the sponsorship of the National Spelling Bee. There was no spelling bee during the war years of 1943 – 45. Co-champions were declared in 1950, 1957, and 1962. We congratulate all of our champions who represented their prospective schools so well. After only four meetings with Jerry Davis, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, the Colonial Beach Revitalization Management Team is ready to pass the draft application on to the town council. “This will be the last meeting for the group before the grant application is approved,” Davis told the group with confidence. Davis recapped the project’s final details with the group and finalized the last steps needed to complete the process of applying for an almost $1 million Community Development Block Grant. The application will go to the council for their second and final public hearing next week. Davis and staff will present a draft application to the council at the February 13 meeting. Changes will be made as needed, and Davis hopes to have the council’s final approval to submit the application at the March meeting. The grant application deadline is March 26, 2014, at 5:00 pm. The state usually announces the awarded grants in June. However, Davis said, with a new governor, the schedule may change. Congress has reduced the amount of grant funds this year by 5%. Davis said the state is estimating between $9 and $10 million to be awarded this year. With the reduced funding, Davis estimates that the state will probably award funding for about ten to twelve projects, and he expects there will be roughly 35 applicants- the same number as last year. This means that both new and returning applicants will be competing more heavily for the existing funds. Although the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be funding the grant, federal regulations have place restrictions on how much funding the state can provide for projects dealing with elimination of slum and physical/economical blight. Most of the money awarded through revitalization block grants must benefit low- to moderateincome citizens by offering jobs or housing. Last year, the state only awarded about 5% of the funds toward eliminating slum and blight. Previously, Colonial Beach’s application dealt mostly with slum and blight elimination. So to make the application more competitive, the group has focused more on providing low- to moderate-income jobs. Currently, in order for businesses to take advantage of the loans provided through the grant, they must commit to creating at least one job for low- to moderate-income individuals. Another way the group is utilizing grant money to benefit low- to moderate-income individuals is to provide workforce-housing apartment units that meet minimum housing standards and can be built for $2,500 per unit. Currently, the town is planning to provide this housing by renovating four town-owned properties, as well as two privately owned properties. To date, the town is planning to renovate the old CBPD building and the Klotz building, located on North Irving Ave., and the upstairs portion of the building which currently is being leased to the CB Chamber of Commerce. Another privately owned building slated for these improvements is located on Hawthorne St. The addition of these apartment renovations will allow the town to be eligible for an additional $300,000 in grant funds. Project areas will be well defined in this year’s application. Davis said that the town’s application scored low in this area last year. The state had a hard time determining where projects were to take place. The planned economic restructuring will change the economy of the downtown area. The application will define these economic project activities. First, the town will complete the formation of the Downtown Colonial Beach Organization. Its main purpose will be to market and promote the historic resort commercial/ Boardwalk area via business ventures such as “opportunity” fairs, “shop local” campaigns and other activities, such as the Second Friday ArtWalks. Other economic restructuring will include small business loans called “nano-loans” in amounts of $1 to $5 thousand. The purpose for funds See Grant, page 2 The third time’s the charm? Private investments in Colonial Beach couldn’t have come at a better time to benefit the revitalization efforts in the town. The Town of Colonial Beach is currently in its third attempt in applying for a Revitalization Block Grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). This year, the state is predicted to award between $9 and $10 million in revitalization grants. That figure is down 5% from last year, and Jerry Davis, Executive Director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission, estimates that the state will see roughly 35 applicantsthe same number as last year. This means that both new and returning applicants will be competing more heavily for the existing funds. The DHCD wants to ensure that localities have had recent renovations carried out and future renovations being planned by business owners using private funding. Private investments in revitalization will help the town earn points for their application. Work completed within the last year in the target area (or adjacent to it) can be counted in the town’s favor. Any work proposed and submitted with promise letters also counts toward these investments. The town will be able to identify $4.2 million of completed and proposed investments by providing documentation of repairs and promise letters that have been submitted by businesses in the target area and directly adjacent to it. Roughly $3.5 million in private investments will come from Potomac Renaissance located at 100 Taylor St. The company is slated to begin construction on a second set of condominiums this year. Currently, Potomac Renaissance has submitted an application for construction, and Gary Mitchell, Director of Building and Zoning, said that he anticipates the building permit will be issued within 45 days or less. Potomac Renaissance will then have three years to complete the work. However, activity must begin within six months or the permit will expire. During the construction of the first set of condominiums, the contractors, Value Craft Homes, trucked in prefabricated sections and had the building completed and ready for move-in fairly quickly. Under Kevin McKinny’s management, the condos were completed in February of 2007. Thompson Building Corporation will be handling construction of the new 26-unit building. The entire first floor will consist of rented commercial spaces only. Aside from Potomac Renaissance, there are several businesses within the target area that have or will provide close to $1 million in recent and proposed revitalization investments, to be included on the application. If approved by the Church, the recent renovations of three of the buildings owned by the Catholic Church on Lossing and Irving Avenues will also provide additional leverage for the town’s application, putting private-sector renovations well over $5 million. It seems that all of the pieces are falling into place for Colonial Beach this time, and 2014 is looking very promising for revitalization, tourism and event planning. —Linda Farneth Metal supports and concrete outline the footprint of the new condos. Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at B E T T E R V I S I O N . Y O U ’ L L S E E . FORMERLY WILLIS FALKENBERG EYE CARE | SIEHT.COM

02-05-2014 Colonial Beach/Westmoreland County Va Journal

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