- Published on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 17:41
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Good news just keeps coming in for Director of Building and Zoning, Gary Mitchell. In late January Mitchell got word that a $10,000 planning grant to study and prepare a redevelopment plan for town owned property was awarded by the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA).
But this news was overshadowed on Feb. 6 when the Virginia Department of Transportation awarded the town with a $482,053 grant to fund the Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Project.
The project will provide sidewalk installation and/or repair along Douglas Avenue, Wilder Avenue
and Livingstone Avenue and will include bicycle and pedestrian crossing improvements.
The town is announcing that the work is expected to begin within the next six months and will benefit not only children in the community but residents and visitors walking and biking throughout the town.
The smaller planning grant presents not only an opportunity to plan effectively what to do with town owned properties, but comes just in time to add to the list of revitalization opportunities on the Department of Housing and Community Development Revitalization Grant application.
When reviewing applications for revitalization grants the DHCD wants to fund towns that not only show excitement for revitalization but initiative to continuing to fund the improvements long after the DHCD grant is used up.
Both of these grants are a big victory for the town, hoping to secure the Revitalization Grant on its first application. A tough feat according to Montross Town Manager, Brenda Reamy, who said, “Localities rarely get these grants on the first try!” After Montross was turned down for their first DHCD Revitalization Grant last year. Montross is reapplying this year.
The smaller grant was applied for in December but the Safe Routes to school Grant has been pursued by the town for many years, dating back to former school superintendent, Alice Howard.
Present superintendent Donna Power and Tracey Tunstall wrote the components of the grant for the schools side along with Mitchell.
Power credits the success of the grant award to the efforts of the town and school working together to focus on not only the schools but also the town citizens, but said it was the community support from residents that won the grant for Colonial Beach.
“I am thrilled at the level of funding. It was a joint effort between the town and school board” said Power in a phone interview on Tuesday morning adding, “A big part of the application was not only safety for students but included enhancing physical activity, for both students and residents in the form of walking and bike riding.”