- Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 19:12
- Published on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 19:12
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Colonial Beach Town Council passed resolutions to finalize the application for a $750,000 Business District Revitalization Grant at a special meeting held last Thursday, Feb. 16.
The council, after watching a power point presentation by Carol Rizzio of Lands Studio outlining the different phases of revitalization planned for Colonial Beach, passed a resolution naming the
area of Washington Ave. to the west, Colonial Ave. to the north, Boundary Street to the south and the Potomac to the east, as the Business District.
A public hearing was held to hear comments from citizens and members of the management committee, formed to oversee the project. The council then voted to authorize town manager, Val Foulds to file the application for the Town of Colonial Beach with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
The management committee members where honored by the mayor and town council for their commitment and dedication leading to the success of the project.
The team has spent over a year collecting input from the community while reviewing statistical data gathered by Lands Studio who complied data and prepared the documentation for the revitalization plan under the direction of the committee.
Most of the management team will most likely move forward to form the implementation committee, but it will be more formally established as an Economic Development Management Committee responsible for implementing the plan. The new committee will report regularly to the town council and will work closely with town staff to implement the plan.
The implementation plan covers a wide variety of actions to; increase tourism by 5 percent a year, market and brand the community, access capital funding for business district improvements and implement business incentives resulting in future development and recruiting new business into the community.
Revitalization grants require a strong commitment from the community and evidence that the locality requesting the grant will in good faith continue to pursue other grants and generate funds on their own to continue to eliminate and prevent blight and disrepair in the redevelopment area.
Colonial Beach has taken many steps towards revitalization. Securing several grants already to improve the community. The town has recently been awarded a $482,000 Safe Routes to School Grant and a $200,615 Beach/Sand Erosion grant.
Several smaller grants totaling $36,547 have been awarded for; installation of a parking kiosk and signage, planning, public beachfront and public restroom improvements.
Colonial Beach has also adopted the following zones; Enterprise, Tourism, Technology and an Arts and Culture District. The growing artist’s guild donated a beachscape mural to help enhance the boardwalk.
The management group is planning to hear a presentation on the Main Street Program at the next regular meeting.
During a recent meeting on Jan. 17 in Montross, citizens gathered to hear a presentation from Jeff Sadler on the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DCHD) Main Street Affiliate program.
Sadler explained to the group the difference between the Block Grant program and Main Street. With a Block Grant, localities seek grant money to upgrade the appearance of their downtown areas. In Main Street programs the DHCD provides guidance and outlines to help citizens of a locality raise money to fund projects that will not only improve the appearance of the downtown area but will focus more on economy building activities, to bring more revenue to the town.
Sadler said, “It’s about involving the community. Successful long-term downtown revitalization programs are based on having a lot of citizen activity and input. But also the implementation is based on volunteers.”
Colonial Beach is already a member of the Main Street program, now it is up to citizens in the community to get involved and get it off the ground.
In other town news;
Colonial Beach is quickly approaching its 120th anniversary of the Town’s incorporation. Town Council recognized Feb. 25, as its date of commemoration.
Andrew Monroe, the great great grandfather of President James Monroe, first founded Monrovia in 1650 and later named it Colonial Beach. The town of Colonial Beach was incorporated on Feb. 25, 1892.