newscommunity meeting to discuss port republic action plan is tonight

Community meeting to discuss Port Republic Action Plan is tonight

(© Gary L Hider –

A meeting will be held tonight between the city of Waynesboro and Port Republic to discuss the use of Community Development Block Grant funds allocated for the historic community.

From 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 7 of the Rosenwald Community Center, 413 Port Republic Road in Waynesboro, community members are invited to participate in conversation with city officials on an action plan for the funding.

According to Community Development Director Leslie Tate, who joined the city of Waynesboro in July 2022 after six years with Augusta County, a new resident participation plan calls for the city to hold three meetings to gather input. Two meetings are to be held in low-income areas, including tonight’s meeting. The second meeting will be held in March or April in an as-yet unidentified location. The third meeting will be at city hall when a draft plan will be presented followed by a 30-day comment period and a public hearing.

“What we’re doing [tonight] is kind of the start of that process,” Tate said.

In tonight’s meeting, the city hopes to gather information from the community about what projects are needed and what housing needs are present.

The city last held a meeting with the community in 2019 to determine needs and a plan going forward. Tonight’s meeting will help determine the community’s 2023 Action Plan.

Last year, Tate said, $187,537 was allocated for Port Republic.

“We would expect a similar amount [in 2023].” Tate said.

Twenty percent of funds may be used for administration costs, including advertisements, and up to 15 percent for public services, including childcare and job training.

Community members will view a presentation by the city tonight on what activities or projects are eligible for CDBG funding, find out how much funding will be available this year and see a rough schedule for an annual action plan. The community is welcome tonight to provide comment on previous program years and on this year’s plan.

Tate said that some projects, if the city participates within the criteria of CDBG, can be multiple-year projects, not just completed in one year.

In July 2023, Waynesboro City Council will adopt the 2023 Action Plan.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.