Workshop for local officials can be rescheduled

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Virginia Resources Authority has canceled the Community Investment Workshop scheduled for Aug. 26 due to low interest.

The free workshop at the Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin would have provided a place for local elected and appointed officials from across Western Tidewater and Hampton Roads to meet with VRA employees and discuss new state grant and loan programs that can be used to support local capital improvement projects.

“Principally, the discussion would have focused on the clean water fund, the drinking water fund, the energy program initiatives that are underway and different opportunities for localities to fund new projects,” said Jean Bass, director of policy at the VRA.

She said that officials from Southampton, Sussex, Isle of Wight and the seven cities of Hampton Roads and Franklin were invited to the workshop.

Out of all those officials, including members of county and city administration, as well as school board members, only 11 individuals registered for the workshop.

“We just didn’t get the registrants,” Bass said.

According to the invitation, information regarding options in financing public improvement projects such as public schools, stormwater drains, dams, energy conservation and economic development initiatives would have been presented to the attending government officials.

“We’ve been talking directly to Sussex, Southampton and Franklin about the idea of having a smaller grouping of communities at a rescheduled workshop so that we can bring more specific information about projects that would benefit each individual locality,” she said. “The state has a number of grant and loan programs that could benefit these localities.”

Bass encourages the community leaders of Southampton County, Isle of Wight County and the City of Franklin to reach out to the VRA in order to schedule individual meetings with VRA representatives to learn about these new grant opportunities.

The VRA can be reached at 804-644-3100.