Valley Officials Gather for Joint Governance Meeting
Knowing the boundary lines between Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County is tough for newcomers, and even long-time residents can find it challenging. Now, as the region grows together, it's trying to save money and streamline services through regional cooperation.
Regional relations were a bit strained in the 1980s, when Staunton and Waynesboro both annexed county land, and again in the 90s when Staunton briefly considered consolidation. But since then, the three localities have partnered on dozens of projects.
Thursday, the top administrators and elected leaders from Augusta, Staunton and Waynesboro gathered for a regional "governance" meeting. They shared progress reports on projects including law-enforcement radios, flood control projects and regional tourism.
The partners say these efforts are now a daily part of doing 'the people's business'.
"We're becoming more of a regional population than we are a locality population. In some areas you can't tell - what's the difference between Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County. So we're all kind of growing together," said Staunton Mayor Lacy King.
King points to regional cooperation in about 50 different areas. He says the efforts have proven to save time and money for the local governments and taxpayers.
Some of those efforts, like the regional jail and landfill, have been in place for decades. The most recent effort is the animal service center, which the three localities plan to expand in the coming year.
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