Charlottesville, Albemarle Leaders Discuss Coordinating Joint Projects
Elected leaders from Charlottesville and Albemarle County are coming together to outline big projects in the region and deciding how to best tackle them.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Elected leaders from Charlottesville and Albemarle County are coming together to outline big projects in the region and deciding how to best tackle them.
On Wednesday, January 30, Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors held a joint meeting in the Water Street center.
The two entities are dedicated to working together to provide more affordable housing and reduce environmental impact, and now they’re trying to figure out the most efficient way to do that.
“How can we make sure that we’re coordinating and working together?” Supervisor Diantha McKeel said.
It was the question of the night at Wednesday evening’s meeting.
“So many in this community don't even recognize where that dotted line that shows the border between the city and the county, and so many of our constituents work on one side and live on the other and vice versa, and so I think that it’s so important to continue to operate in collaborative ways so that we can treat ourselves as one community,” Charlottesville Vice Mayor Heather Hill said.
City councilors and county supervisors are dedicated to working together to improve aspects of the area like affordable housing, transportation, and environmental impact.
“We can’t go anywhere throughout our community and our region without hearing about the topic of race and equity and affordable housing,” Councilor Wes Bellamy said.
Each of these areas for growth was outlined by memoranda of understanding between the two localities back in 2016.
“It seems like any strategy that the city did that didn't address the county would not be sensible because the county has such an important role to play,” Councilor Mike Signer said.
With budget season for both bodies in full swing, the discrepancy between how each locality plans for large-scale future projects took center stage.
“We each have our strategic plans, and they’re separate, and if we were willing to look at coming up with some joint strategic plans to add to our individual plans,” Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker said.
The two groups are now looking into if it would be possible to sync the capital improvement funding cycles - every 2 years in the county and every 3 years in the city - so that each locality can invest in these major projects at the same time.
“How can we get ourselves more in sync so we’re looking at these at the appropriate times and that we can combine our resources in a way that can really drive to the greatest needs of our community?” Hill said.
City and county staff are now expected to put together a report on Wednesday night’s meeting and how those memoranda of understanding help guide staff members.
City Council and county supervisors are planning to hold another joint meeting sometime over the summer.