Regional growth signs apparent

Published 2:23 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2019

One of the natural by-products of investigating and developing one news story is the unanticipated discovery of another, often unrelated, story. Such was the case recently. While looking into a municipal water project in one town, I happened across news of Downtown Revitalization plans in Drakes Branch. The project is currently in its pre-planning phase. After a little digging, I found out that Commonwealth Regional Council, (CRC), is working to secure grant funding that will facilitate the project’s realization. There is also news of project planning that will enlist services from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

CRC will provide services to assist that project as well.

The CRC is one of 21 planning district commissions that are intended to promote local and state governmental cooperation and to address issues that are larger than local level. Since its creation, an endless list of accomplishments that involve project financing prove that CRC has evolved to become a grant sourcing and grant writing organization of stature. The list of projects that CRC has successfully assisted on within its region are not limited to grant writing, either. CRC offers construction administration services, project planning, governmental services and more.

CRC serves Region 14, which consists of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Prince Edward counties. One representative and an alternate from each county make up the council.

Melody Foster, who began as an administrative assistant 30-plus years ago, currently serves as CRC Executive Director.

The following projects, in addition to the Drakes Branch projects are an abbreviated list of what CRC accomplishes regularly, in Charlotte County alone. They are all being done with funds sourced and secured by CRC grant writing services, in addition to any other services that might be project specific.

Just a couple of miles from Drakes Branch, the Town of Phenix is steadily getting closer to achieving its project goal of installing new water pipe for the town and constructing a new water storage tank.

Charlotte Court House is working through a VDOT Transportation Alternative Program, (TAP) and is currently on Phase I of the Route 645 Evergreen Road Sidewalk Project.

Charlotte County is also applying for VDOT HB2 grant funding making improvements to the Crafton Gates Intersection — Routes 360 and 47.

There are currently 10 active projects in Region 14 that CRC is assisting with to varying degrees. Additionally, the CRC March report listed nine items of interest, or potential future projects.

Our collective growth is clearly evident. It is also evident that CRC has become a primary, favorable condition, in a metaphorical sense, that facilitates our community’s growth. It works consistently and quietly at its job, which it obviously does quite well. May our weather remain as fair for our future as it is now.

Noel Oliver is a staff writer for The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Noel.Oliver@ TheCharlotteGazette. com.