Albemarle Supervisors Take On Bypass, Tourism, And Target Industry
Albemarle County supervisors have their hands full Wednesday, as money talks take center stage. They will specifically tackle how to bring more cash into the county with tourism and target economic growth industries, and what projects to shell out for. That includes more conversation about the always controversial Route 29 Western Bypass.
The county spotlight is back on the bypass after an advisory committee out of the Jack Jouett district drafted a letter to VDOT project manager Harold Jones.
In that letter, the committee asks for a public hearing rather than an informational meeting with VDOT representatives, claiming members of the community have a number of unanswered questions and need a better opportunity to offer "real and significant input" for the project. It stresses the environmental impacts and the effects the road will have on neighborhoods in the area, and essentially says that new information has not been available to the public for about a decade.
Supervisor Dennis Rooker, who signed off on the letter, says the issue could prove to be contentious, but says comment in past public hearings has been overwhelmingly against bypass construction.
Supervisors Rodney Thomas, who has been openly supportive of the Western Bypass, says he has confidence in VDOT doing a thorough job in its assessment process.
Also up for discussion is business growth in Albemarle, particularly in the areas where a recent target industry study found would be most viable for the county to pursue. That research recommends that Albemarle invest in jobs in the fields of bioscience and medical devices, business and financial services, information technology, and agribusiness. You can click here to view the full report.
Supervisors are slated to talk over strategies to enforce the study's findings and optimize on those areas of occupation. That includes reviewing what land is currently available for development in the county, options for zoning changes that could increase the availability of commercial land, and possible revisions to the comprehensive plan.
Reports show the county's current Five-Year Financial Plan (as adopted by the board of supervisors last fall) would reduce the majority of that leftover money to Albemarle and Charlottesville to support tourism initiatives.
However, supervisors suggested they would be willing to consider leaving that surplus with the CACVB if the organization generated a meaningful marketing plan that calls for constant accountability checks. Wednesday, the board will receive updates on that plan. A final decision on that reinstating the fund balance will be made at a later date.
Albemarle County supervisors will begin their meeting at 9:00 a.m. in Lane Auditorium. That's in the county office building on McIntire Road. Click here for a complete agenda.
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Dannika Lewis joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in June 2010. She started her ventures in broadcast news at Elon University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story