Local Governments May Soon Finance Affordable Housing Through VRA
On March 23, Governor Glenn Youngkin approved legislation to add affordable housing to the list of project areas that local governments may finance through VRA. HB1805 (Bloxom) and SB1401 (Lewis) were sponsored to provide another “tool in the toolbelt” for local governments to address housing affordability.
Strategic Planning in Small Communities
Capacity challenges can hinder smaller communities from performing critical planning exercises. The International City/ County Management Association (ICMA) awarded a research fellowship to Dr. Stephanie Dean Davis of Virginia Tech’s Graduate Local Government Management Program to study this issue.
Local Infrastructure Hub
The National League of Cities is a proud sponsor of the Local Infrastructure Hub, a Database of approximately 400 funding opportunities available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Board Highlight: David Branscome
David Branscome was appointed to the VRA Board of Directors by Governor Youngkin effective July 1, 2022. Previously appointed by Governors McDonnell and McAuliffe, he served two prior terms on the VRA Board. David chairs the Budget & Investment Committee and serves on the Audit Committee.
HRSD Breaks Ground on First Full-Scale SWIFT Facility
On July 21, 2022, Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) Commissioners and staff gathered with state and local representatives at the HRSD James River Treatment Plant in Newport News to break ground on the first full-scale Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) facility.
General Assembly Creates and Capitalizes Resilient Virginia Revolving Fund
SB756 (sponsored by Senator Lewis) and HB1309 (sponsored by Delegate Bulova) created the Resilient Virginia Revolving Fund effective July 1, 2022. By statute, VRA will financially administer and manage the Fund with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Fund shall be used to make loans or grants to local governments to finance or refinance the cost of any resilience project. Loans and grants may also be made from the Fund to a local government that has developed a funding program to provide low-interest loans or grants to any persons of the Commonwealth eligible for projects for resilience purposes.
York County Finances Library Expansion, Law Enforcement Building, and Fire Truck Acquisition
York County borrowed $32.2 million from the spring 2022 Virginia Pooled Financing Program issuance pool for several capital projects. The County secured the 20-year loan with a lease revenue pledge. Theresa Owens, York County Director of Finance, had this to say about the financing: “It is great to work with VRA again. They always make the financing process seamless while securing very competitive rates. This was especially important considering these are some of the largest projects we’ve done in the past few years.”
Western Virginia Water Authority Borrows from Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund for Innovative Biogas Project
The Western Virginia Water Authority (Authority) and Roanoke Gas Company (Roanoke Gas) have entered into a cooperative agreement to produce commercial quality renewable natural gas, or RNG, from biogas produced at the Roanoke Regional Water Pollution Control Plant (WPC Plant). This RNG product, the first of its kind in the Commonwealth, will necessitate construction of a digester gas conditioning system and interconnect facility at the WPC Plant. Representatives from the Authority, Roanoke Gas and the community broke ground on this phase of the project on May 17, 2022.
Board Highlight: Greg Campbell
Governor Glenn Youngkin appointed Greg Campbell as the Director of the Virginia Department of Aviation effective February 14, 2022. By statute, the Director of the Department of Aviation serves as an ex-officio member of VRA’s Board of Directors.
Governor Youngkin Appoints Shawn Crumlish as VRA Executive Director
Governor Glenn Youngkin appointed Shawn Crumlish as VRA Executive Director in April of 2022. Before his appointment, Shawn served as Director of Financial Services and held other positions at VRA for over 16 years. During this time, he was involved with various transaction types, including water, wastewater, transportation, and economic development, and implemented several new funding programs with state agency partners. He received his undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.
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