20 20 ANNUAL REPORT
COMMISSION MEMBERS (For period ending June 30, 2020)
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 the region.
BOTETOURT COUNTY The Honorable Stephen Clinton Erin Henderson Gary Larrowe The Honorable Billy Martin, Sr. CITY OF COVINGTON The Honorable Allan Tucker Krystal Onaitis CITY OF ROANOKE The Honorable Bill Bestpitch Dr. Elda Stanco Downey The Honorable Joseph Cobb Frederick Gusler The Honorable Djuna Osborne Peter Volosin
ROANOKE COUNTY The Honorable Kevin Hutchins Dean Martin, Treasurer The Honorable Phil North, Vice Chair Dan O’Donnell J. Lee E. Osborne The Honorable David Radford TOWN OF CLIFTON FORGE Darlene Burcham The Honorable Pam Marshall TOWN OF ROCKY MOUNT James Ervin The Honorable Mark Newbill TOWN OF VINTON The Honorable Bradley E. Grose, Chair Barry Thompson
LIAISON MEMBERS (NON-VOTING) Beth Doughty Roanoke Regional CITY OF SALEM Partnership The Honorable Jane Teresa Hammond Johnson The Honorable James Martin Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce & Carolyn Minix Tourism Melinda Payne Landon Howard Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge CRAIG COUNTY Beth Bell The Honorable Jesse Salem-Roanoke County Spence Chamber of Commerce Dan Collins Dr. John Rainone Dabney S. Lancaster FRANKLIN COUNTY Community College The Honorable Mike Dr. Robert H. Sandel Carter Virginia Western The Honorable Ronald Community College Mitchell Joyce Waugh David Phelps Roanoke Regional Chamber The Honorable Lorie Smith Chris Whitlow
ALLEGHANY COUNTY The Honorable Shannon Cox Jon Lanford The Honorable Joan Vannorsdall
Wayne Strickland Executive Director
Amanda McGee AICP, Regional Planner III
Sherry Dean Director of Finance
Matt Miller Director of Information Services
Cristina Finch AICP, LEED AP, Director of Transportation
Virginia Mullen Office Manager
Bryan Hill AICP, CZA, Regional Planner III
Tim Pohlad-Thomas Outreach and Communications Specialist
Jeremy Holmes Director of RIDE Solutions
Gabriel Irigaray Regional Planner I
Rachel Ruhlen Transportation Planner II
Eddie Wells AICP, Director of Community Development Programs
Jackie Pace, the Regional Commission’s Office Manager, retired on July 15th after 43 years on the job. Jackie began her work at the Commission in 1977 as an Administrative Assistant. As her skills expanded, Jackie was promoted to Office Manager where she would serve until her recent retirement. Mayor Brad Grose, Chair of the Commission, said that “Jackie was so pleasant to work with and she was very knowledgeable about all the communities we serve”. Wayne Strickland, the Commission’s Executive Director, stated that “For over four decades, Jackie was the individual that people first met when dealing with our organization – she was the face and the voice of the Regional Commission to many folks who visited or called for information. Having worked with Jackie for more than 40 years, I can say that she was always the biggest cheerleader for the Commission and the local governments we serve. The entire staff of the Commission will greatly miss her smile and positive attitude”.
JACKIE PACE RETIRES AFTER 43 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE ROANOKE VALLEY-ALLEGHANY REGIONAL COMMISSION
THE YEAR AT A GLANCE Needless to say, Fiscal Year 2020 has been an interesting year. As the Regional Commission entered the first part of FY2020 the staff was ready to begin work on the 40+ requested (or required) projects covered under the 2020 Annual Work Program. The work was proceeding smoothly until the first quarter of 2020 when the COVID pandemic shutdown most functions of our daily life. Although the COVID virus affected the health of citizens in our region, it also affected our ability to work and shop, which impacted the local economy. Even through this trying time, the Regional Commission has continued to undertake the various projects requested by our member governments as well as addressing the requirements of our federal and state funding agencies. For example, the Commission provides staff to the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO), and the RVTPO was up for its four-year certification review by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). During normal times, this review would have been handled in faceto-face meetings with these two agencies as well as the public, but COVID made that type of meeting impossible. Although most of the Commission staff was teleworking, the staff was able to provide the needed information to the FHWA and FTA in a timely fashion and solicit online public input. The day-long federal review was held virtually, which was the first virtual review in the nation ever allowed by those agencies. This example illustrates that, even though
they could not be in the office, the staff continued to do their work without “missing a beat”. The Commission realizes that the work we do for our 11 local governments is important. Our member governments use the Commission for special projects that their local staff members may not have time to undertake or they may need the special expertise of the Commission’s staff. The bottom line is that it is all about service to our constituents. This year’s Annual Report highlights numerous projects that the staff pursued during FY2020. I hope you will have time to review the projects/programs presented in the report to get a better understanding of the diverse work of the Commission. I think you would agree that our Commission is very responsive to communities in our region. Our goal is to ensure that we provide the highest level of service to our local governments and the citizens they serve. I want to take a moment to applaud the members of our Regional Commission for their commitment to ensuring that our communities continue to offer the best quality of life to citizens and businesses in the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Region. I also want to applaud the staff of the Commission who have done a great job working closely with our member governments to help them provide that wonderful quality of life we all enjoy.
The Honorable Bradley E. Grose Chairman
REVENUE, GRANTS, AND APPROPRIATIONS
Operations & Other Expenditures
Regional Transportation Programs
Appalachian Regional Commission
Economic Development Administration
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Environmental Protection Agency
USDA Forest Service
2019/20 FINANCIAL REPORT Revenue, Grants, and Appropriations
Federal Grants and Appropriations
State Grants and Appropriations
Local Grants and Appropriations
Operations & Other Expenditures
Regional Transportation Programs
Appalachian Regional Commission
Economic Development Administration
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Environmental Protection Agency
USDA Forest Service
Total Federal Funding
SMART SCALE ROUND 4 REGIONAL APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS
In April 2020, staff submitted six pre-applications on behalf of localities in the region, for the fourth round (Fiscal Year 22) of SMART SCALE. All applications were endorsed by the respective RVARC and RVTPO Boards. Final applications were submitted in August 2020.
RVTPO POLICY BOARD ALLOCATES $22.1M FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS
The RVTPO is directly responsible for allocating Transportation Alternative (TA) SetAside funding and Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding in the Roanoke Valley. In February, the RVTPO Policy Board approved $541k in TA funds to support one multimodal street and two greenway projects. In May, the Board approved $2.5 million STBG funds to cover cost overruns on four existing projects. Round 4 of new STBG applications began in September 2019 and culminated on June 25, 2020. The RVTPO Policy Board committed $6.6 million to nine new projects and conditionally committed an additional $7.5 million to four of those projects if they receive the remaining money needed for construction via SMART SCALE. At the June 25th meeting, the Policy Board also conditionally approved $4.9 million of anticipated FY27 funds to five projects on Route 460 East.
Good luck to all SMART SCALE projects as we await results in early 2021!
TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM On June 25, 2020, the RVTPO Policy Board approved its Fiscal Year 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP includes the RVTPO’s investment priorities to carry out the fiscally constrained Long-Range Multimodal Transportation Plan and make progress toward achieving the adopted performance measure targets regarding safety, pavement and bridges, highway system performance, and transit asset management. The TIP includes a list of all transportation projects receiving federal funds in the Roanoke Urbanized Area for federal fiscal years 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Prior to the public hearing held in June on the TIP’s approval, there were two 15-day public comment periods consisting of online surveys. In total, there were 114 respondents, yielding the most public comments ever received on the TIP. The new TIP includes: • • • • • •
Grouped/ungrouped projects to be implemented in FY21-24 and an explanation of that distinction Project status as of March 2020 RVTPO’s TIP amendment/adjustment process RVTPO’s STBG and TA funding processes with related documents in appendices SMART SCALE projects with no federal funding in the Other Projects category Public input survey results and RVTPO response in the appendix
Staff amend and adjust the document periodically as situations warrant.
FY2018-2021 TIP AMENDED TO ADD $732.5 MILLION FOR INTERSTATE 81 WIDENING PROJECTS In January 2020, the RVTPO Policy Board approved an amendment to its FY2018-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) to widen Interstate 81, adding one lane in each direction from MM136 to MM141 and MM144 to Exit 150 for a total cost estimate of $732,509,235. In October 2019, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved these projects in the Six-Year Improvement Program. The Virginia Department of Transportation subsequently requested the projects be added to the RVTPO’s TIP to begin preliminary engineering. A 15-day public comment period was held as well as a public hearing, prior to the RVTPO Policy board action. A public input survey was administered during the public comment period to understand the public’s support of these projects. Staff distributed a paper copy of the survey at the Ironto and Troutville rest areas on Monday, December 30, 2019, receiving a total of 114 responses. An online survey was open from January 2–16, 2020 and received 430 responses, for a total of 544 responses. Survey responses were overwhelmingly supportive of the projects (82% to 85%).
COUNTING PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS RVTPO BOARD MEMBERS (2019/20) BEDFORD COUNTY The Honorable Mickey Johnson BOTETOURT COUNTY The Honorable Steve Clinton The Honorable Billy Martin, Sr., Vice Chair ROANOKE COUNTY The Honorable Phil North The Honorable David Radford MONTGOMERY COUNTY The Honorable Steve Fijalkowski CITY OF ROANOKE The Honorable Bill Bestpitch The Honorable Joe Cobb CITY OF SALEM The Honorable Jane Johnson The Honorable Bill Jones TOWN OF VINTON The Honorable Keith Liles The Honorable Janet Scheid, Chair GREATER ROANOKE TRANSIT COMPANY (VALLEY METRO) Kevin Price ROANOKE-BLACKSBURG REGIONAL AIRPORT Vacancy VIRGINIA DEPT. OF RAIL & PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Daniel Sonenklar VDOT–SALEM DISTRICT Kenneth H. King NON-VOTING MEMBERS Kevin Jones - FHWA Vacancy - FTA J. Lee E. Osborne - RVARC Cody Sexton - TTC Chair Richard Caywood Roanoke County Bob Cowell - City of Roanoke Craig Meadows Montgomery County Pete Peters - Town of Vinton Ben Tripp - City of Salem
This year Regional Commission staff expanded its bicycle and pedestrian count program. We added new count locations in the greenway network and used VDOT bicycle counters to get statistics on what percentage of cyclists are using Roanoke River Greenway. Staff produced the 2019 Trail Counter Report, available on our website. Regional Commission staff also supported the Greenway Commission in rolling out their new website, which includes an interactive greenway map for the region. The website went live on Labor Day weekend. You can find out more at Greenways.org. Thanks to equipment and support from the Virginia Department of Transportation and a partnership with Virginia Tech professor Dr. Steve Hankey, the bicycle and pedestrian count program added more sidewalks and bike lanes this year. With a full year of pedestrian counts on Campbell Avenue in downtown Roanoke, a weekly heartbeat-pattern emerges of 1,672 pedestrians per day with a peak on Fridays or Saturdays and the lowest pedestrian traffic on Sundays. Events such as St. Patrick’s Day and Dickens of a Christmas really stand out. Daily pedestrian traffic shows a massive lunch peak, overwhelming the traditional morning and evening peaks. But the pandemic altered all this: pedestrian traffic dropped and with restaurants and offices closed, the lunch peak all but disappeared. In conjunction with permanent reference counters such as the counters on Campbell Avenue, pedestrian and bicycle counters moved around the region generating Average Annual Daily Traffic for pedestrians or bicyclists at each location counted. Localities use this data to assess the use of new bike lanes, quantify pedestrian traffic before and after sidewalk projects, and justify funding requests.
RURAL BIKEWAY PLAN
The Regional Commission completed updates to the Rural Bikeway Plan this year. The 2020 plan includes a new analysis of suitability for bicycle accommodations along rural roads based off of available VDOT planning data and state Complete Streets guidance. It also updates route and demographic information for the study area. The Rural Bikeway Plan makes recommendations for Alleghany, Botetourt, and Craig Counties, Roanoke County, the City of Covington and the Town of Clifton Forge and was approved in September 2020. The plan is available on our website for review.
RVTPO PASSES FEDERAL CERTIFICATION REVIEW The RVTPO’s transportation planning process was certified by a team of Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration representatives. The review, which takes place every four years, occurred on April 15 and was the nation’s first ever virtual Federal Certification Review! Transportation Management Areas, like the Roanoke Valley, are required to undergo such review to assess the transportation planning and programming processes conform to federal requirements. The RVTPO received several commendations and some recommendations on how to improve its work over the next several years. Citizens also provided input which shed light on the continuing need to make the RVTPO’s work accessible and easy to comprehend.
ROANOKE VALLEY TRANSPORTATION PLANNING ORGANIZATION PUBLIC INPUT The RVTPO frequently seeks public input on decisions, such as the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Long-Range Multimodal Transportation Plan. Public input helps decision makers and is a federal requirement. The RVTPO updated its Public Participation Program in 2018 and public input skyrocketed from just two comments on the 2018 update of the TIP to 544 survey responses on the January 2020 TIP amendment mentioned on the previous page! Staff achieved this incredible result by routinely offering electronic surveys with every public comment opportunity in addition to the traditional open-ended call for comment. Advertising the surveys on social media as well as meeting citizens in common public areas (pre-pandemic) proved to be good public engagement approaches. As a result, the quantity and the quality of public input has gotten better. But quantity alone isn’t enough. The RVARC and the RVTPO updated the Title VI Implementation Plan in 2019. To achieve input from a wide diversity of people, and to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and related nondiscrimination authorities, the RVTPO collects demographic information from survey takers. During the survey period, staff monitor the demographics and target additional outreach to under-responding zip codes and race/ethnicities. Decision makers appreciate the increased input. Their decisions are stronger when they are better informed and more meaningful knowing that so many people have contributed.
Connecting the Region’s Commuters
SOCIALLY DISTANT BICYCLE TOURS
With many people working from home due to restrictions from COVID-19, RIDE Solutions reminded everyone that May was still Bike Month by sharing Socially Distant Bicycle Tours. Amidst growing disconnection between neighbors and friends, getting outside to enjoy the region’s natural beauty was more important than ever this year. To that end, RIDE Solutions created a series of Socially Distant Bicycle Tours that provided opportunities to explore local neighborhoods and the broader community with solo or small family rides and was a great way for cyclists of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the outdoors while learning something new about the area. RIDE Solutions’ extensive list of socially distant bicycle tours can be found at ridesolutions.org/tours.
EARTH DAY ONLINE UNIVERSITY
On April 22nd, the Commission’s RIDE Solutions commuter assistance program celebrated Earth Day by hosting Earth Day Online University – a virtual educational event held on social media to promote multiple aspects of green living. The event brought together local governments, businesses, and nonprofits, along with resources from national and international experts to discuss issues like transportation, stormwater, recycling, lighting, home gardening, beekeeping, and more.
RIDE SOLUTIONS REWARDS PROGRAM The RIDE Solutions app rewards members by allowing them to cash in points earned for every trip they take for offers and discounts at local and online retailers and restaurants. RIDE Solutions has always had a focus on supporting our local businesses, and we have continued that goal by working with local businesses to become a RIDE Solutions rewards member. These partnerships support transportation choice and vibrant, safe neighborhoods while connecting businesses with new customers. For more information on the rewards program, please contact Jeremy Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosted primarily via a Facebook event page, Earth Day Online University had 483 attendees and was seen by over 25,000 people ahead of Earth Day. It featured 39 videos shared approximately every 15 minutes starting at 9 am and ending at 6pm. The videos from the event have been viewed over 10,000 times. The full lineup of videos produced for and shared on Earth Day Online University are available at ridesolutions.org/earthdayon-
TELEWORK ASSISTANCE As the business community in central and southwest Virginia worked to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers who had never considered telework looked for ways to quickly implement remote working options. As the region’s Commuter Assistance Program, RIDE Solutions worked to help employers understand their opportunities and implement programs to keep their employees, customers, and families safe. While not every kind of job qualifies for telework, RIDE Solutions emphasized that creating remote work opportunities for those employees who can work from home, still reduces the number of people at a worksite and, thus, the opportunity to transmit the coronavirus.
Regional Economy & Environment
COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY The Regional Commission serves as the coordinator of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated Economic Development District and maintains the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). 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 CEDS Strategy Committee continued to incorporate a series of familiarization tours in FY19-20. These events give members an opportunity to visit localities throughout the region and included a tour of downtown Vinton to see the progress that has been made on the town’s downtown revitalization that was partially funded by a Community Development Block grant. Additions to the 2020 CEDS included a rewrite of workforce training section by Virginia Career Works Blue Ridge Region, the new Virginia Mountains region tourism brand, and The Gauntlet comprehensive business development program, updated demographics with new data from JobsEQ, an updated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis and Goals & Strategies, new projects highlighting inter-muncipal cooperation (Roanoke Valley Housing Study, Alleghany/Covington Revenue Sharing Agreement, Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facilities Authority, and Regional Career and Technical Education Study), updated Project Package listing, a GO Virginia section, and an Opportunity Zone summary. Persons wishing to review the plan may access it on the Regional Commission’s website at rvarc.org/CEDS. For more information on the plan, contact Director of Community Development Programs at email@example.com.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROJECTS • • • • • • • • • • • •
Alleghany Co - City of Covington Revenue Sharing Agreement mapping Alleghany County Wrightsville Neighborhood Planning Grant assistance Alleghany Highlands Trail and Greenway Inventory mapping City of Covington Downtown Revitalization Planning Grant assistance Craig County Community Resource Center Planning Grant assistance Town of Rocky Mount Historic Site funding research Regional Makerspace Research Report Economic Impact of the Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge Staff Support to the Roanoke Valley Broadband Authority Staff support to the Western Virginia Industrial Facility Authority Staff support to the Western Virginia Workforce Development Board Technical assistance to a Regional Career and Technical Education Study
ROANOKE RIVER BLUEWAY
This year, staff was able to secure continued funding for Roanoke River Blueway efforts. This is great news, and opens up some wonderful opportunities moving forward. Staff also began working earnestly on new projects to improve blueway access and wayfinding. While the onset of the pandemic did slow down these efforts somewhat, expect some big announcements in the coming year! For more information, please visit RoanokeRiverBlueway.org.
SUPPORTING THE TRIPLE CROWN
The Triple Crown is one of our regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s key outdoor assets, drawing thousands of visitors every year. In partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, the National Park Service, and the Virginia Department of Transportation, Regional Commission staff continue to support efforts to improve this resource through a variety of projects.
This year, Regional Commission staff helped host a Visitor Use Management summit which allowed Park Service staff to begin the important task of drafting a Visitor Use Management Plan for the Triple Crown. The Regional Commission collected data on the viability of a shuttle service to the McAfee Knob parking lot in order to offset the eventual impacts of construction when the 311 Pedestrian Bridge connecting the parking lot to the trail to McAfee Knob is built. Additionally, the staff also provided feedback on the bridge design. The Regional Commission will continue to support exciting new projects in this area as they gain momentum.
ROANOKE VALLEY-ALLEGHANY REGIONAL HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, in conjunction with its member localities and the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Committee, developed a Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan identifies hazards, evaluates risks, and establishes community goals and objectives and mitigation activities that are appropriate for the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany region. The Plan includes the counties of Alleghany, Botetourt, Craig, and Roanoke; the cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem; and the towns of Buchanan, Clifton Forge, Fincastle, Iron Gate, New Castle, Troutville, and Vinton. These are the same localities that participated in the previous 2006 and 2013 plans. The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan has been approved by both the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The plan was also adopted by all of the participating jurisdictions in Fall 2019. Local governments must have an approved hazard mitigation plan in order access state and federal hazard mitigation grant funds. Persons wishing to review the plan may access it on the Regional Commissionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website at http://rvarc.org/community/hazard-mitigation . For more information on the plan, contact Director of Community Development Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Regional Commission is proud to continue to serve as a catalyst for regional stormwater conversations. The Regional Stormwater Advisory Committee, consisting of locality stormwater staff and private stormwater professionals, met in September 2019 and January 2020. Participants gave updates on their stormwater activities and plans for the upcoming year. Meetings of the group will carry on in 2020 to continue discussions about stormwater activities.
LOCAL FOOD PLAN
This year, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Region joined our surrounding regions in creating a local food plan to support food producers and consumers. The Roanoke Valley Local Food Plan is the first of its kind in this region, a document that draws on existing local plans, programs, and policies to create a regional vision of food security and economic productivity in the Roanoke Valley region.
This fiscal year, the Regional Commission supported tree plantings by securing Arbor Day funding on behalf of the City of Salem and Alleghany County. Salemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tree planting was a success, resulting in improved landscaping in Rotary Park. Alleghany plans to plant their trees this fall along the Jackson River Scenic Trail. If your locality could use some help with tree planting funds, reach out to Amanda McGee at email@example.com.
The study area for the Roanoke Valley Local Food Plan includes the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, the Counties of Craig, Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke, and the Town of Rocky Mount. Locality staff joined stakeholders such as the Local Environmental Agriculture Project and Healthy Roanoke Valley to develop recommendations. Major takeaways from this document include the importance of supporting small and mid-size farm operations, the impacts of food access on health, and the importance of rural farms to our scenic beauty and regional character. To find out more please see the Local Food page of our website.
ROANOKE VALLEY-ALLEGHANY REGIONAL HOUSING MARKET STUDY UNDERWAY
Franklin and Roanoke Counties requested housing market studies in the FY19-20 Regional Commission Work Program. Staff gauged interest of other localities in providing similar studies, and pursued grant funding opportunities to hire outside consultants. It was noted that a regional housing study had not been performed in over 10 years. Preliminary data collection and coordination with Virginia Housing (formerly VHDA) to prepare a grant application for study funding began in the fall of 2019. This Community Impact Grant would provide funding to hire consultants to perform a Regional Housing Market Analysis Study.
In March 2020, the RVARC was awarded $80,000 from Virginia Housing to procure professional consultants to develop the housing market study. Partners in this project include the Regional Commission, the Counties of Franklin and Roanoke (incorporating the Towns of Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, and Vinton respectively), the Cities of Roanoke and Salem, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), with funding support being provided by the Regional Commission and Virginia Housing. The anticipated outcome is to identify housing needs and demands for housing based upon current and future economic development needs. Goals of the Study are to: • • • • • •
Develop a document that identifies housing needs and provides both a regionwide and locality-specific market analysis. Analyze commuter and residential patterns. Incorporate results and findings from recently performed housing studies in Botetourt County, Village of Ferrum (Franklin County), Route 419 Town Center Plan Residential Analysis (Roanoke County), and the Alleghany Highlands portion of the region. Create economic development opportunities by providing strategies to address housing concerns. Develop regional and locality-specific recommendations that address local housing needs and encourage private investment. Engage stakeholders to determine local housing needs and identify potential opportunities and partners to address and identify needs.
During the first two months of 2020, staff convened a group of planning and economic development directors to steer the consultant selection process. Staff issued a Request for Proposals for consulting services in February and subsequently hired RKG Associates in early May to perform the study. To date, preliminary mapping and data collection have occurred, with several stakeholder meetings, focus group interviews, and the other project scope elements to occur in FY21.
CHESAPEAKE BAY PHASE III WATERSHED IMPLENTATION PLAN Regional Commission staff have maintained efforts toward achieving the 2025 Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) goals. We have continued to work with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) and local stakeholders to identify Best Management Practices (BMP) funding and implementation areas, expand educational outreach, and use Chesapeake Bay goals to promote the benefits that come with improving local water quality. The staff will continue to work with its local stakeholders to find opportunities for BMP implementation. Increasing public awareness about the effectiveness of BMPs will be an important piece to help install these practices in our local communities. For more information about Chesapeake Bay TMDL goals, please visit the VDEQ’s website. If you wish to learn more about efforts to improve local water quality in the Regional Commission’s service area, please contact Gabriel Irigaray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
313 Luck Avenue, SW • PO Box 2569 Roanoke, VA 24010 Ph: 540.343.4417 • Fax: 540.343.4416 Email: email@example.com www.rvarc.org