Fluvanna Co. Creating Task Force to Improve Former Town of Columbia

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Building in the former town of Columbia Building in the former town of Columbia
Steve Nichols Steve Nichols
Nash Kidd clearing brush Nash Kidd clearing brush
Nash Kidd Nash Kidd
Building in the former town of Columbia Building in the former town of Columbia

Fluvanna County is putting together a task force of property owners to plan the future of the former town of Columbia.

Columbia became part of the county on July 1, 2016, after residents voted to rescind the town's 227-year-old charter.

“This is a gateway to Fluvanna County coming in out of Goochland County, so it needs to be improved,” said Nash Kidd.

Kidd was out clearing away brush from his late brother’s home Wednesday, June 14.

“At least, not let it grow up and be consumed in leaves and brush, he said.

The lifelong Columbia resident said he remembers a vibrant town: “Plenty of stores, grocery stores, gas stations,” said Kidd. “Now, you can see what we have, just a bunch of dilapidated buildings.”

The former Columbia Town Hall was torn down and is now a church parking lot.

The new Columbia Area Renewal Effort (CARE) Task Force is being formed to recommend improvements to the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors.

The county is using a $200,000 FEMA Hazard Mitigation grant, “That provides funding to purchase properties, and then tear down blighted and uninhabitable and uninhabited structures,” said Fluvanna County Administrator Steve Nichols.

Crews have so far installed new street signs and cleaned-up a vacant corner property. Fluvanna County plans to purchase seven properties - six of which are currently under contract – and will demolish four blighted buildings.

“I think it's great. Anything that can be done is an improvement. I understand they're going to tear down some of these buildings. That's a first step,” Kidd said.

Fluvanna County is looking for eight to 10 property owners to join the CARE task force to plan long-term improvements.

“We want to make positive change, and we want to take into account and consider the property owners and citizens and residents of that area on what best will represent positive change,” Nichols said.

Anyone interested in joining the CARE Task Force can come to a kick-off planning session at the Saint Joseph Parish Fellowship Hall in Columbia at 7 p.m. Monday, June 19.