Community Project Funding Requests

Community Project Funding Requests

Rep. Elaine Luria has submitted funding requests for important community projects in Virginia’s Second District to the House Appropriations Committee.

Under guidelines issued by the Appropriations Committee, each Representative may request funding for up to 10 projects in their community for fiscal year 2022 – although only a handful may actually be funded. Projects are restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding. Additional information on the reforms governing Community Project Funding is available here.

In compliance with House Rules and Committee requirements, Rep. Elaine Luria has certified that she, her spouse, and her immediate family have no financial interest in any of the projects she has requested.

***These projects are listed in alphabetical order using the project’s name. ***

 

Achievable Dream Education Program (Seatack E.S. and Lynnhaven M.S.)

Amount Requested: $1,500,000

Requestor: An Achievable Dream (912 S Birdneck Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451)

Project Description: An Achievable Dream requests $1.5 million to support core programmatic expenses for our partnerships with Seatack Elementary and Lynnhaven Middle Schools in Virginia Beach, where we  carry  out our  mission  to  bring equity to  education in  traditionally underserved communities with our  proven "whole student"  approach to  learning that prioritizes social  as well as  academic development and serve as a catalyst for social change within the community. The project will also help us open our high school location and add a grade level each year to our program to reach the full K-12.

Signed Financial Certification Letter

 

Coastal Storm Risk Management Study, Norfolk, VA

Amount Requested: $650,000

Requestor: City of Norfolk (810 Union St., Ste. 1101, Norfolk, VA 23510)

Project Description: Conduct a project wide value engineering study and coastal engineering analysis of the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study’s (CSRM) recommended plan. These efforts could be separated into the two studies depending on the funding level. The value engineering study will be a systematic review the CSRM’s recommended coastal protection features to increase function at the lowest cost by promoting the substitution of materials and methods with less expensive alternatives, without sacrificing functionality. The coastal engineering analysis purpose is to optimize the flood protection features alignment and height around the City. This analysis will provide key information about wetland impacts, harbor interaction with waves, wind driven waves, and sediment flow around the protection features. This analysis will also improve the CSRM’s value engineering study and will help refine the environmental mitigation needed for the project. The combination of these two efforts will improve the Norfolk CSRM’s benefit-cost ratio and will help refine the construction sequencing for the project.

Signed Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Defense and Interagency Offshore Wind Energy Center of Excellence

Amount Requested: $1,000,000

Requestor: Old Dominion University (4111 Monarch Way, Suite 203, Norfolk, VA 23508)

Project Description: Establish a Defense and Interagency Offshore Wind (OSW) Energy Center of Excellence that provides:

  • OSW energy sources to support defense operational readiness.
  • OSW energy recommendations for integration into National Security Strategy.
  • Continued acceleration of interagency and intergovernmental planning and permitting.
  • Continued leadership for the “whole of government” OSW ecosystem.
  • Connections for the offshore wind ecosystem to the existing maritime industry ecosystem.
  • Authorization language/roadmap to link Department of the Army Civil Works studies with Federal Facility master plans for coastal installations.
  • Timely advice for local installation commanders desiring OSW Energy Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with local providers.

Signed Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Eastern Shore of Virginia (Accomack and Northampton Counties) - Regional Public Safety Radio Communications System

Amount Requested: $8,244,500.00

Recipient: Accomack and Northampton Counties (P.O. Box 337, Accomac, VA 23301)

Project Description: Public safety radio communications in the region include disparate systems using different frequency spectrum; they are deficient with coverage and interoperability issues. In 2019, a formal 3rd party assessment of the current public safety radio communications infrastructure/operations in the region was completed. The vendor who completed the assessment described the current system as “inefficient at best and potentially dangerous and life threatening at worst”. As part of the assessment, system users stated concerns about the current systems, including inadequate coverage, communication delays/interference, and a lack of operability/interoperability. Some users suggested potential personnel safety issues due to the inability to communicate reliably. The assessment included a recommendation to implement a new regional public safety radio system to meet the needs of the community/responders. This funding request is to implement the new public safety radio communications system. Once implemented, this new radio communications system will provide public safety grade, reliable, mission-critical voice and data communications for responders.

Signed Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Eastern Shore Rails to Trails Project, Cape Charles to Route 13 Segment

Amount Requested: $2,500,000

Requestor: Accomack Northampton County Transportation District Commission (202 Mason Ave., P.O. Box 312, Cape Charles, VA 23310)

Project Description: This request is for funding for Department of Transportation Community Funds grant to convert approximately 2.3 miles of the abandoned Eastern Shore Railroad right of way and VDOT right of way into a multi-use recreational trail for the safety and benefit of residents, commuters, and visitors in Northampton county on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

As can be seen in the accompanying pre-engineering concept slides (see “Cape Charles Trail Map” attachment), the proposed path will begin at a new trail head near “The Hump” road crossing in the Town of Cape Charles and then run in an easterly direction paralleling Stone Rd to Lankford Highway, Route 13. Once the trail intersects with Route 13, users may continue along the path in a southerly direction along VDOT right of way to an existing stop light at Route 13 which is across from the Food Lion. This project includes a bike/pedestrian crossing capability at this existing traffic signal. Once having crossed to the east side of Route 13, trail users may continue along the trail in a northerly direction again paralleling Route 13 on VDOT right of way to terminate the trail at a new Park and Ride lot. 

If additional funding above this $2.5M request is allocated, then the multi-use path can be extended beyond the terminating Park and Ride lot to connect back into the abandoned Eastern Shore Railroad right of way and thus continue to the neighboring town of Cheriton.

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is rural and known for its oysters, farmland, coastal barrier islands, and historic small towns. Route 13 is the primary north south road on Virginia’s portion of the Delmarva Peninsula which separates the Chesapeake Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. Stone Road intersects Route 13 and is the main artery into the Town of Cape Charles.

The Town of Cape Charles has experienced a renaissance in recent years and continues to grow with new residents, new businesses, and increased tourist interest. Many are attracted to the region’s quality of life and natural beauty. Unfortunately, increased north-south traffic on Route 13 and East-West traffic on Stone Rd limits safe options for residents and tourists who wish to utilize safe space to ride bikes or walk. 

The requested Community Project funds are based on estimates made as part of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s December 2020 feasibility study of converting the recently abandoned 49.1 mile Eastern Shore Railroad corridor into a multi-use trail.

The $2.5M request is to cover the following: Project Engineering/Survey/Design, Intersection Improvements (at three existing crossings - Bayside Rd., Parson’s Cir, Country Pl), Traffic Signal Modification (at the existing Route 13 stop light), Construct one trail head (at “The Hump” in Cape Charles), Construct one Park & Ride lot (on east side of Route 13 near Dollar General), and Construct 2.3 miles of 10’ wide paved path.

The Cape Charles segment covered by this Community Project Funds request was just one portion of the proposed future multi-use trail build out along the railway corridor. Also noted in the VDOT study is how the trail will provide a needed multimodal transportation option, promote healthy mobility, and increase transportation safety measures. 

In 2017 the Eastern Shore had 71.6 per 100,000 motor vehicle crash hospitalizations compared to Virginia’s 45.0 per 100,000 population. An improvement such as a multi-use trail will help alleviate this statistic. In addition, the percent of population living on the Shore in poverty in 2018 was 17.7% which is seven percent higher than the state’s 10.7 percent. A trail that attracts not only residents for safe exercise alternatives but also draws tourists will help with economic development.

As part of the VDOT feasibility study noted above, an extensive survey was also conducted from May to June 2020 to gauge the public’s reaction to the proposed trail. Over 3,400 individuals responded to the survey, 90% of whom indicated they would visit the shared use path if it were constructed. Survey respondents identified safer places to walk and bike as the most positive benefits.

Both Boards of Supervisors of Accomack County and Northampton County have passed resolutions in support of the rail trail as well as local organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, The Town of Cape Charles, citizens and support groups.

Signed Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Ruth Wise Road Development Project

Amount Requested: $500,000

Requestor: New Road Community Development Group of Exmore, Inc (P.O. Box 1296, Exmore, Virginia 23350)

Project Description: The development of the Ruth Wise Road project has been a shared vision between the community and the Town of Exmore for several years. The community has been a exemplary model of self-directed community development for nearly 30 years and continues to be a leading voice for finding innovative strategies to make housing affordable for the people of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The project site is a 9-acre parcel that is currently subdivided for commercial development. The site will be re-platted into a mixed-use, residential community that will expand the existing community with light-commercial/office/retail development along the highway frontage section of the property. The new walkable development that is within minutes of local stores, public transportation and services will include approximately 30 homes ranging from 450 to 1200 square feet that will be made available for homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income citizens.

Link to Financial Certification Letter

 

 

United Way Regional Community Resource Center

Amount Requested: $1,000,000

Requestor: United Way of the Virginia Peninsula (11820 Fountain Way, Suite 206, Newport News, VA 23606)

Project Description: UWVP serves people in need in nine jurisdictions on the Virginia Peninsula. One of the services offered by UWVP is a call center which refers clients who need human services to the appropriate agency. The RCRC will enhance the call center to wrap-around services center that assigns advocates to address the total array of services to people in need. Based on the No Wrong Door concept and the social services wrap-around services model, the RCRC will streamline access and offer a holistic approach. UWVP responded to the COVID pandemic in multiple ways: emergency funds, emergency eviction services, emergency utility assistance and child care placement. Building on the successful execution of these services and on the recognition of the strength of wrap-around human services through advocates who provide a holistic approach to people's needs, the RCRC is a logical next step. It will be a proactive approach to help address the needs of our clients and our region

Link to Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Virginia Beach and Vicinity, VA and NC (Comprehensive Regional Coastal Storm Risk Management Study)

Amount Requested: $1,500,000

Requestor: The City of Virginia Beach (2401 Courthouse Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23456)

Project Description: This study will analyze the flood risk threats from sea level rise, coastal storm surge and rainfall events & will develop watershed-based mitigation solutions to reduce flood risk in portions of the cities of VA Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake, Currituck County, North Carolina, and the Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek-Fort Story. It is crucial to the long-term resilience of the Coastal VA region as well as to national security due to all the major defense assets and personnel located in this region - Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek-Fort Story, NAS Oceana, and Dam Neck Naval Base. If funded the City will expand its efforts in mitigating sea level rise and recurrent flooding, and can serve as a model to coastal cities. It will also lead to a reduced risk to vulnerable populations, property, ecosystems and infrastructure in one of the most flood-prone population centers and augments existing federal resiliency investments in the Hampton Roads region.

Link to Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Virginia Beach Parks Avenue Facility Replacement

Amount Requested: $5,139,000

Requestor: Hampton Roads Transit (509 E. 18th Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23504)

Project Description: This project relocates and replaces a functionally obsolete public transportation bus operations and maintenance facility in Virginia Beach, VA, 2nd Congressional District. This project replaces a functionally obsolete bus operations and maintenance facility that has exceeded its useful life and lacks capacity to house and service both existing and new fleet vehicles or support year-round public transit operations based out of Virginia Beach.

Link to Financial Certification Letter

 

 

Williamsburg Stormwater Abatement

Amount Requested: $336,000

Requestor: The City of Williamsburg (401 Lafayette Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185)

Project Description: Existing downstream channel has eroded and will be restored using guidance from the water quality improvement plan for nutrient and sediment reduction as part of the City’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Action Plan.

Link to Financial Certification Letter