Page 1

Annual Report

2017-18


2 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

THE REGIONAL COMMISSION MEMBERS ALLEGHANY COUNTY The Honorable Shannon Cox Jon Lanford The Honorable Richard Shull BOTETOURT COUNTY The Honorable Stephen Clinton Erin Henderson Gary Larrowe The Honorable Billy Martin, Sr. CITY OF COVINGTON Richard Douglas The Honorable Allan Tucker CITY OF ROANOKE The Honorable Bill Bestpitch Courtney Campbell The Honorable Michelle Dykstra The Honorable John A. Garland Frederick Gusler Braxton Naff CITY OF SALEM The Honorable Jane Johnson The Honorable James Martin Carolyn Minix Melinda Payne CRAIG COUNTY The Honorable Jesse Spence Vacancy FRANKLIN COUNTY The Honorable Bob Camicia David Phelps The Honorable Ronnie Thompson Chris Whitlow Vacancy

ROANOKE COUNTY Tom Gates The Honorable Kevin Hutchins Dean Martin The Honorable Joe McNamara The Honorable Phil North J. Lee E. Osborne TOWN OF CLIFTON FORGE Darlene Burcham Vacancy TOWN OF ROCKY MOUNT James Ervin The Honorable Mark Newbill TOWN OF VINTON The Honorable Bradley E. Grose Barry Thompson LIAISON MEMBERS (NONVOTING) Beth Doughty Roanoke Regional Partnership

Teresa Hammond

Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

Landon Howard

Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Jill Sluss

Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce

Dr. John Rainone

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

Dr. Robert H. Sandel

Virginia Western Community College

Joyce Waugh

Roanoke Regional Chamber

For period ending June 30, 2018

THE MISSION To be a leader in driving collaboration and strategy within our communities on issues that are critical to the economic growth, quality of life, and sustainability of this region


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 3

COMMISSION A Letter from Chairman Grose Reflecting on the work of the Regional Commission in FY 2018, I think about the importance of our organization’s work in the region. I am very excited about the future of our region, and I am confident that the Commission will continue to be an important contributor in our progress. The members of our Regional Commission should be applauded for their commitment to ensuring that our region continues to offer the best quality of life to our citizens and our businesses. Of course, it is important to recognize the staff of the Commission who work closely with our member governments to address the many projects the Commission undertakes each fiscal year. Each year the Commission’s Work Program Committee develops our Annual Work Program that guides the programs and services provided by the staff. The items on the Work Program are proposed by our member governments and reviewed by the Committee. The 30+ projects which were undertaken this past year ranged from regional transportation initiatives to developing a blueway brochure for the Roanoke River. The Commis-

sion tries to remain flexible and can accommodate some initiatives that arise during the program year that are not covered in the Work Program. Often these projects need immediate attention and are important to our constituents. Our interest in remaining relevant to our local governments led the Commission to contract with the SouthEast Regional Directors Institute (SERDI) to undertake an assessment of how effective the support provided by the Commission is to communities in the region. In the fall of 2017, the SERDI staff started the assessment process by: • conducting surveys of Commission members and other regional leaders, • holding one-on-one interviews with members of the Commission’s Executive Committee as well as chief administrative officials throughout the region, and • conducting four focus groups (this included the Mayors of Cities/Towns and the Chairs of our member Boards of Supervisors, economic development specialists, local planning directors, and local transportation planning staff).

The assessment process lasted throughout late fall. The SERDI staff provided the results of their assessment to the Commission in early 2018. The Commission’s Executive Committee felt that the information provided in the assessment would be valuable in helping to update our Strategic Plan. A Strategic Planning Committee was established to review the information and begin preparing an updated Plan. A draft of the Plan should be completed by December of 2018. The new Strategic Plan will help us remain responsive to communities in our region and help ensure that we provide a high-level service to our local governments and the citizens they serve.

The Honorable Bradley E. Grose Chairman


4 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

COMMISSION STAFF

Regional Commission Staff (left to right) (Back Row) Bryan Hill, Tim Pohlad-Thomas, Eddie Wells, Wayne Strickland, Amanda McGee, Jeremy Holmes, Dorian Allen, Matt Miller (Front Row) Cristina Finch, Sherry Dean, Virginia Mullen, Jackie Pace, Rachel Ruhlen

Wayne Strickland Executive Director Dorian Allen Transportation Planner I

Matt Miller Director of Information Services

Sherry Dean Director of Finance

Virginia Mullen Admin/Accounting Clerk

Cristina Finch AICP, LEED AP, Director of Transportation

Jackie L. Pace Office Manager

Bryan Hill AICP, CZA, Regional Planner III

Tim Pohlad-Thomas Outreach and Communications Specialist

Jeremy Holmes LEED GA, Director of Ride Solutions

Rachel Ruhlen Transportation Planner I

Amanda McGee Regional Planner II

Eddie Wells AICP, CZA, Director of Community Development Programs


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 5

FINANCIAL STATEMENT SOURCES OF REVENUE

2017-18

Federal Grants and Appropriations

$618,920

State Grants and Appropriations

$419,492

Local Grants and Appropriations

$411,908

Contract Income

$271,218

Other TOTAL REVENUE

Other <1%

Contract Income 16% Federal 36% Local 24%

$3,816

State 24%

$1,725,354

EXPENSES

Operations & Other Expenditures 16%

Contract Services 21%

Personnel

Personnel 62%

2017-18

Regional Transportation Programs

$479,018

Appalachian Regional Commission

$60,682

Economic Development Administration

$53,106

Federal Emergency Management Agency

$22,368

USDA Forest Service

$3,746

TOTAL FEDERAL FUNDING

$618,920

$1,031,451

Contract Services

$354,964

Operations & Other Expenditures

$265,022

TOTAL EXPENSES

FEDERAL FUNDING

2017-18

Federal Emergency Management Agency 4%

$1,651,437

USDA Forest Service <1%

Economic Development Administration 9% Appalachian Regional Commission 10% Regional Transportation Programs 77%


6 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

STRENGTHENING REGI GREENWAY PLAN UPDATED

Roanoke River Blueway

The Regional Commission worked closely with the Greenway Commission to complete the 2018 Roanoke Valley Greenway Plan. The Plan was approved by the Greenway Commission at their meeting on June 27, 2018.

419

HORNERS BRANCH

orial Dr. on Mem Thomps

DRY CREEK

Acad em y St .

112

4

5 Cardinal Academy Canoe/Kayak Ramp River Right

5

r. eD rsid Rive W.

3

11

3 Green Hill Park Shoreline Access River Right

LAT, LON 37.2755, -80.1134

Mill Lane Bridge

. Ave

MASON CREEK

419

Green Hill Park features an accessible fishing platform.

LAT, LON 37.2816, -80.0593

11

Apperso n Dr.

8 Back Country Ski & Sport (Private Business/Open to Customer Use) Shoreline Access River Left

LAT, LON 37.2677, -80.0263

4.6 Miles to Next Access Point

7 Salem Rotary Park Canoe/Kayak Ramp River Left

LAT, LON 37.2681, -80.0367

8

7

117

Bra nd on

0.9 Miles to Next Access Point 419

DRY BRANCH

2

81 LAT, LON 37.2478, -80.1753

Passable at normal water levels. Portage required at high water levels. Portage distance 75 ft. moderate. Exit river right upstream of Bohon Hollow Road. Cross Bohon Hollow Road to access river downstream of bridge.

W. River Rd.

7.0 Miles to Next Access Point

ain .M W

St.

1

11

1 East Montgomery County Park (South Fork Roanoke River) Shoreline Access River Left

Access Point

ELLISTON

L

0

2. Dispose of waste properly 4. Respect wildlife

Class II Rapids

• Ensure that gear and equipment are suitable for river conditions and in proper working order

Class III Rapids Greenway

• Inform others (family, friends, or colleagues) of your plan including starting and ending points and expected return time

Planned Greenway Expansion

0.5

Road Blue Ridge Parkway

1.0mi

1. Plan ahead and prepare

• Make certain that all participants are fully capable of participating in planned Blueway activities

Seasonal Access

Parking Fee

Roanoke River Blueway users are encourage

practice Leave No Trace, a set of outdoor ethics to conservation in the outdoors based upon these ble

River/Stream

USGS Stream Gage

Required Portage

$ RoanokeRiverBlueway.org

• State law requires a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (i.e., life jacket) for each person in the water craft, including canoes and kayaks (all paddlers under age 16 must wear a life vest at all times)

Potential Hazard

Private Access/Other

LAT, LON 37.2283, -80.2094

4.1 Miles to Next Access Point

others and conservation-minded.

MUD L

Leave No Trace

• Check water levels and weather conditions prior to starting your trip

LEGEND SPRING HOLLOW RESERVOIR

The Roanoke River Blueway is a beloved natural resource in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Region. The river’s beauty and recreational opportunities are available for all to enjoy. Please be responsible, respectful of

. Rd

Shoreline Access River Left

Bohon Hollow Road Bridge

Icon locations are approximate. Refer to listed GPS coordinates for exact locations.

Ave . SW

ric ct Ele

2 Wayside Park

BARNHARDT CREEK

Safety & Stewardship

ROANOKE RIVER

Exit 132

PETERS CRE

6 Eddy Avenue Canoe/Kayak Ramp River Right

1.7 Miles to Next Access Point

Passable at normal water levels. Portage required at approx 1000 cfs or higher. Portage distance 75 ft. moderate. Exit river right upstream at Greenway parking area. Cross Mill Lane to access river downstream of bridge.

2.7 Miles to Next Access Point

y Dr. Barle

dy Ed

6

Electric Rd.

81

LAT, LON 37.2829, -80.0653

0.9 Miles to Next Access Point

11

460

St. Union

MILL RACE

SALEM

LAT, LON 37.2862, -80.0769

2.1 Miles to Next Access Point

11

460

n St. E. Mai

Pete rs Cr eek Rd.

. Rd od wo ild W

Canoe/Kayak Ramp River Right

Exit 137

For more information on the approved plan, please visit Greenways.org.

117

311

4 West Riverside Drive

PAINT BANK BRANCH

in St. W. Ma

Electric Rd.

Exit 140

81

m Bra

3. Minimize campfire impacts 5. Be considerate of other visitors

To facilitate Leave No Trace principles, Blueway u access the Blueway only at designated access po

• Remain aware of your location at all times using access points, geographic coordinates, and reference points (bridges, roads, landmarks) for use during emergencies

Roanoke River Blueway access points have trash and many have restroom facilities and other am

• Enter and exit the Blueway at designated public access points

We know that Blueway users care about the e and the Roanoke River Watershed. Help improv experience for everyone by picking up trash and in a river clean-up event. Get more informatio

• Obey all “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” signs • Be aware of all river hazards and required portages Note: There are inherent dangers associated with water-related activities. Blueway users assume full responsibility for their own safety.

at RoanokeRiverBlueway.org.

The Regional Commission completed the Roanoke County, the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the Roanoke River Blueway. We are happy to announc Centers with information on how to enjoy our valley’s visit www.RoanokeRiverBlueway.org.

ARBOR DAY GRANT

The Regional Commission successfully secured funding for the Arbor Day Mini-Grant Program, an annual program to fund Arbor Day activities in the City of Salem, Roanoke County, and the Town of Vinton. With funds provided from the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Virginia Trees for Clean Water program, localities were able to plant over 30 trees in the Roanoke Valley this spring. Educational activities were also incorporated, helping the valley’s youth understand the importance of trees in our region. Arbor Day is held in April every year.

BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The RVTPO formally established the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee in January 2018. The Transportation Technical Committee selected 10 at-large members in addition to 8 locality-appointed members to serve on the committee.

The purpose of the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee is to facilitate regional collaboration with diverse stakeholders in planning bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the Roanoke Valley.


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 7

IONAL CONNECTIVITY

y Brochure Released 581 TINKER CREEK

11

221

Blue Ridge Parkway

460 115

Gus

EEK

460

)

Nic ks

Blvd .

E. Wa shing ton Av e.

9 Wasena Park

ROANOKE

Campbell Ave. SW

required at approx 800 cfs or higher. Portage distance 75 ft. moderate. Exit river left at bridge. Cross Greenway to access river downstream of bridge. Watch for116 Greenway users.

Shoreline Access River Left Upstream; River Right at Bridge

10

LAT, LON 37.2569, -79.9531

S 220 BR

Nia gara

Portage Left NO VEHICLE ACCESS

11 The Launch at Reserve Canoe/Kayak Ramp River Left

LAT, LON 37.254, -79.940

4.2 Miles to Next Access Point

0.3 Miles to Next Access Point Rd .

15

Passable at gap in low water dam on river right (portage as necessary). Portage distance 50 ft. moderate. Exit river right. Use Roanoke River Greenway to access river downstream of low water dam. Watch for Greenway trail users.

Niagara Dam

668

Portage required. Difficult. Exit river left upstream of marker buoys. To avoid Niagara portage, use the 13th/Bennington or Tinker Creek 3rd St take out points.

Blue Ridge Parkway Roanoke River Overlook

Shoreline Access River Right

14

Fishermen’s Access Trail – Strenuous hike of over 200 steps

15 Blue Ridge Parkway

Milepost 115

Check water levels at RoanokeRiverBlueway.org.

116

16 Explore Park/Rutrough Point Canoe/Kayak Ramp River Right

LAT, LON 37.2259, -79.8474

Jae Valley Park

4.3 Miles to Next Access Point

Shoreline Access Creek Left

roanokecountyparks.com/231/Explore-Park Smith Mountain Lake begins here.

Seasonal Access

17 17 Smith Mountain Lake/Hardy Ford DGIF Boating Access Boat Ramp River Left PRATER CREEK

LAT, LON 37.2201, -79.8012

Blueway Ends

d. yR rd Ha

the boat or scraping the river bottom.

HARDY

River Blueway Brochure on behalf of Roanoke Town of Vinton, to coordinate promotion of the ce that brochures are now available in Visitor’s s premier waterway. For more information, please

Y

l n l n e

l n e

In 2005, the Commonwealth passed the Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Regulation. It required that all localities in the Commonwealth participate in creating a water supply plan. Our Commission successfully participated in three regional water supply plans: a water supply plan for member localities in the Roanoke River watershed; a water supply plan in conjunction with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission for member localities in both regions located within the James River watershed; and a water supply plan for Craig County.

16 BACK CREEK

4.9 Miles to Next Access Point

. n Rd untai w Mo Yello

participating on

Precipitation and other weather factors can have a major and sudden impact on water levels. High water levels can present dangerous boating conditions. Low water levels are not uncommon during parts of the year and may require exiting

Explore Park

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE

Water Levels

d. yR lle Va

environment ve the river

Blue Ridge Parkway

634

e Ja

users should 419 oints. Most h receptacles, menities.

FALLING CREEK

619

116

. ve lA nia lo Co

LAT, LON 37.2531, -79.8716

3.0 Miles to Next Access Point

1.1 Miles to Next Access Point

Rutrough Rd. 658

LAT, LON 37.2677, -80.0263

Rd. Hardy

US

2.1 Miles to Next Access Point

APCO road for portage around Niagara Dam. Difficult 0.3 mile portage to access river (left) below Niagara Dam at Roanoke River Gorge.

d. hR ug tro Ru

220

LAT, LON 37.2636, -79.9149

LAT, LON 37.2636, -79.9149

Shoreline Access River Right

Rd. 24

13 Tinker Creek/3rd St.

d. SE nt Blv Pleasa Mt.

221

13

12

11

Franklin Road Low Water Dam

Stew artsv ille

14 Niagara Dam Portage

Hardy Rd.

12 13 St./Bennington St.

5.0 Miles to Next Access Point

ed to . s promoting ve nA eo principles:720

W. Vir ginia Ave.

Boat Ramp Creek Left (Put In/Take Out)

St.

10 Smith Park (Low Water Bridge)

S. Jefferson

. LICK CREEK ill Rd st M Gar

Mai n St . SW

11

Passable at normal water levels. Portage Elm Ave. SW

24

St. 13th

Wasena Park Low 221 Water Bridge

9

SE Ave. Dale

3rd St.

1.4 Miles to Next Access Point

24

VINTON

581

LAT, LON 37.2673, -79.9633

Shoreline Access River Right

WATER SUPPLY PLAN UPDATE

The Regional Commission is currently supporting efforts to update these plans. These updates will be completed by December 2018. Localities should reach out to RVARC staff if they have questions or concerns about this process by contacting Amanda McGee at amcgee@rvarc.org.

CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED IMPROVEMENT

Commission staff is working with localities, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Virginia Department of Health, and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts to identify implementation strategies for improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, as well as identifying regulatory hurdles and other issues which may restrict locality flexibility and capacity to create lasting change in the watershed. A final report will be provided to DEQ in December 2018. For more information, visit: http://www.deq.virginia. gov/Programs/Water/ChesapeakeBay.aspx or contact Amanda McGee at amcgee@rvarc.org.


8 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

IMPROVING REGIONA VISION 2040: ROANOKE VALLEY TRANSPORTATION

The Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) Policy Board adopted the Vision 2040: Roanoke Valley Transportation plan in September 2017. The plan analyzed future trends and existing transportation data to identify where investment should be made. With an assumption of how much transportation funding will be available through 2040, transportation investments are prioritized in a fiscally constrained list of projects. Funding opportunities such as SMART SCALE, Block Grant Surface Transportation Program, and Transportation Alternatives will be sought to pay for those projects.

RVTPO TED STUDY

In 2018, the RVTPO Policy Board approved the Regional Study on Transportation Project Prioritization for Economic Development and Growth (TED Study). The effort was the first time private and public stakeholders worked together to study how transportation and economic development goals are aligned, understand regional transportation needs as they relate to economic growth, review an economic profile of regional economic trends and conditions, and identify priority transportation needs related to economic development.

SMART SCALE FUNDING

Regional Commission staff applied for four urban transportation projects on behalf of the RVTPO; two rural transportation projects for the Regional Commission; developed four applications for the City of Covington; one application for the Town of Clifton Forge; and assisted the Town of Vinton with one project application. The projects are currently undergoing validation and scoring by VDOT and the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment. In January 2019, the Commonwealth Transportation Board will release its first scenario of projects proposed for SMART SCALE funding. Throughout this winter and next spring, there will be public comment and hearings on the proposed projects and their inclusion in the Commonwealthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Six-Year Improvement Program, which will be adopted in June 2019. For more information contact Bryan Hill at bhill@rvarc.org.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PLAN

The Roanoke Valley Transportation adopted a Public Participation Plan the 2007 Plan. Over forty citizens, businesses, employers, people with income, participated in the steering May to October of 2017. In an onli Open House, and at presentations on how they preferred to provide in

The trans the i trans new strive that e is inl

For m new-


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 9

AL TRANSPORTATION

N

n Planning Organization (RVTPO) n on February 22, 2018, replacing , staff, and agencies representing h disabilities, and people with low committee that met six times from ine survey, a pop-up booth, at an to groups, citizens provided input nput.

purpose of this plan is to support sportation planning and promote integrity and transparency of the sportation planning process. The plan describes how the RVTPO will e for meaningful public participation engages a variety of stakeholders, lcusive, and focused on quality.

more information, visit http://rvarc.org/ -public-participation-plan-adopted/

FY19-20 TA FUNDING

At its March 2018 meeting, the RVTPO Policy Board allocated funds to Transportation Alternatives (TA) projects. Due to a policy change by the Commonwealth Transportation Board, the TA Program will now seek project applications every two years versus on an annual basis. As a result, the RVTPO has two years of funding to allocate towards projects. For Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020, the Policy Board allocated a total of $366,606 for the Roanoke River Greenway Parkway Crossing project and $160,969 for the Tinker Creek Greenway Phase 2 project (the remaining requested balance of $323,444 was allocated by the Salem District Commonwealth Transportation Board Member).

FY19-24 RSTP FUNDING

The RVTPO Policy Board receives approximately $5M annually to support improvements to the Roanoke Valley’s transportation system. This year the RVTPO Policy Board approved its FY19-24 Regional Surface Transportation Program (RSTP) which will invest in many new projects related to greenways, transit, and roads. Since the program’s inception in 2013, the Board has allocated more than $56M to improve transportation in the Roanoke Valley. See rvarc.org/rstp for more information.

TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

RVARC staff continued implementing the long-range Roanoke Valley Transit Vision Plan by working with KFH Group Inc., Valley Metro and RADAR on six-10 year Transit Development Plans. RVARC also supported the Comprehensive Operations Analysis of Valley Metro’s fixed-route system where KFH Group analyzed the value of every route’s twists and turns, identifying strategies to improve the network and service levels.


10 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

REGIONAL SOLUTIONS

Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions Celebrates One Year RIDE Solutions and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission are proud to announce Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions has celebrated its 1-year anniversary. This anniversary and the successes of the first year would not have been possible without the help of all our program sponsors, local government officials, and organizations who have created an environment that has allowed bike share and biking in general to not only survive, but to thrive throughout the community. Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions – First Year Facts Trips • 17 stations and 84 bikes in the City of Roanoke and Town of Vinton – Almost doubled our size in our first year! • 7,174 trips taken by 2,552 members – Over twice our goal of 1,000 members in the first year. Members • 54% of our bike share members are from the Roanoke Valley. Bike share provides a trans-

portation alternative for our citizens while still supporting tourism and economic development. • 53% of our users are Millennials while 15% are over the age of 50. Bike share is very rider friendly and is being used by people of all ages. How are we riding? • 62% of users are riding 45 minutes or less. These riders are likely using the trip for transportation and are more likely to be using the bike for one way trips. • 38% of trips are an hour or longer. These are folks likely taking a leisurely ride on the greenway. While we celebrate the success of our current system, we continue to look ahead to new areas to expand the bikeshare program. We are currently working with the City of Salem to add up to 4 stations by the end of 2018. If you are not a member of Bikeshare by RIDE Solutions, sign up today at, www.zagster.com/ RIDESolutions.


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 11

REGIONAL PROGRAMS and shows the important connections that public transportation has in our community. In this photo, Lucy de los Rios (left) and Jordan Peery (right) of the local band Another RoadSide Attraction perform during an afternoon Star Line Series show.” said RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes.

ACT AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

ART BY BUS

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is happy to announce that a photo submitted to the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) was chosen as the winner of NADO’s 2017 photo contest under the category “Building Vibrant Places”.

The winning photo, taken in March of 2017, highlights RIDE Solutions’ Art by Bus program, which brings together the visual, performing, and written arts on one of Valley Metro’s buses. “By connecting arts and transit, RIDE Solutions hopes to make riding the bus more attractive,

ART BY BUS SPECIAL PRESENTATION

RIDE Solutions’ Art by Bus program made a special presentation to the West End Center for Youth on behalf of artist David Ramey, Sr. RIDE Solutions was able to donate $175 to the West End Center from proceeds of the Art by Bus chapbook sales. The next round of proceeds will be donated to the Oliver White Hill Foundation which is an organization that was very close to the heart of David Ramey, Sr.

In October, the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) awarded RIDE Solutions their second Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Excellence Award for Small Government at the ACT national forum in Las Vegas. The award recognizes the small government that exemplifies commitment to TDM strategies in order to improve the quality of life, promote greater livability, and enhance economic growth.


12 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

SUPPORTING OUR REG REGIONAL COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSESSMENTS

Since January 2017, Commission staff have served on Community Health Assessment/Community Health Improvement Plan steering committees in the Alleghany Highlands and Botetourt County. These steering committees were organized by the Alleghany Health District to help develop locality specific five-year Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP). Once survey results and needs are analyzed, the CHIP is developed. Upon completion, the CHIP will serve as a guide for health professionals to focus on challenges in each locality, as well as a vehicle though which to qualitfy for certain state and federal grants.

HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and signed a contract with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to update the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. RVARC serves as the central point of contact for monitoring the implementation of the plan and the required 5-year updates. The purpose of this plan is to

fulfill the federal requirements for the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The plan identifies natural hazards; establishes community goals, objectives, and mitigation activities that are appropriate for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region.

POINT-IN-TIME HOMELESSNESS COUNTS

The Blue Ridge Interagency Council on Homelessness (BRICH) conducts annual Point -in-Time counts of sheltered and unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness in the region. This count occurred on the night of January 24, 2018. Volunteers with the BRICH, the Continuum of Care, and local students conducted the survey. The BRICH is staffed by the Regional Commission. For more information on the Point-in-Time Report, and the other functions of the council, visit our website at http://rvarc.org/community/ homelessness/.

CDBG PLANNING GRANTS

Commission staff assisted with several Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Planning Grants that are underway. It is anticipated that implementation grant applications will be submitted for the following: Wrightsville Neighborhood (Alleghany County); Jackson

Street Neighborhood (City of Covington); Community Center (Craig County); and Downtown Housing Rehabilitation (Town of Vinton).

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT

RVARC serves as the coordinator of the EDA designated Economic Development District and maintains the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The CEDS is a regional strategy which reflects local economic development needs and priorities and is designed to diversify and strengthen the regional economy. The FY 17-18 CEDS update added new projects from other recently adopted plans including GO Virginia, SMARTSCALE, and the Explore Pak Master Plan. In FY 17-18, the CEDS Strategy Committee modified its meeting schedule to incorporate a series of familiarization tours. These events gave members an opportunity to visit localities throughout the region and see other successful projects in the counties of Botetourt and Roanoke, and in the towns of Clifton Forge and Vinton. This has proved to be a popular activity and will continue to be incorporated into future meetings.


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 13

GIONAL COMMUNITY

Economic Analysis of the Arts and Cultural Industry In 2018, the City of Roanoke requested the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission conduct an economic analysis of arts and cultural organizations which are supported by the Roanoke Arts Commission. The Regional Commission completed similar studies in 2013 and 2010. Sixteen organizations which provide programming to the region were surveyed and provided data for FY 2016. Key findings of the analysis were as follows: • The Arts and Cultural sector supports over 200 full-time and part-time jobs. • The Arts and Cultural Industry helps generate $35.8 million in sales activity in the region because of new dollars attracted through visitation and tourism. While typically not the sole destination or attraction, arts and cultural organizations play a very significant role in supporting tourism in the region. • The size and impact of the local industry sector

based on the expenditures of arts and cultural organizations is $40.7 million. These are not new funds to the region, but a measure of the relative size of the industry within the existing economy. • Revenues increased by about $7 million since the last survey in 2013. A significant part of that was an endowment increase of $3.5 million but ticket sales and individual donations were also up. The 611 train excursions also contributed to increased sales figures. Over the years, arts and cultural organizations have had a fairly significant economic impact on the economy of the Roanoke Valley. Although this study looked specifically at dollars spent by the local arts and cultural organizations and through visitor spending, we know that there are intangible impacts associated with a healthy arts and cultural sector, such as providing opportunities for students to participate in performing and visual arts and creating a strong positive perception of the Roanoke Valley by visitors and businesses.


14 | 2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT

REGIONAL PHOTOS


2017-18 ANNUAL REPORT | 15

MEDIA INQUIRIES

313 Luck Ave., SW • PO Box 2569 Roanoke, VA 24010 Ph: 540.343.4417 • Fax: 540.343.4416 Email: rvarc@rvarc.org Web: www.rvarc.org Media Inquiries: media@rvarc.org


Profile for Roanoke Valley - Alleghany Regional Commission

Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Annual Report 2017-18  

2017-18 Annual Report for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission. Hard copies are available at our office.

Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission Annual Report 2017-18  

2017-18 Annual Report for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission. Hard copies are available at our office.

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