Home Town of Pound to evaluate redevelopment potential projects following successful WV model

Town of Pound to evaluate redevelopment potential projects following successful WV model

Crystal Graham

virginia deqThe Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Appalachian Voices are working with the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center on a revitalization program for a town in Virginia.

The town of Pound will participate in the program modeled off of the West Virginia University Brownfield, Abandoned and Dilapidated, or BAD, program, to identify buildings.

The program is meant to replicate the success of the initiative in Virginia.

DEQ completed this type of inventory work as a pilot program in Smyth County, but Pound will be the first Virginia community to participate in the program since the pilot.

Funding for the program comes through the DEQ via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will be used to look at commercial, industrial and residential properties.

On Dec. 15, representatives from the organizations will team up with community residents for a community-led inventory and redevelopment planning work day. The volunteers will split into teams and log observations of site details using an app called REGRID.

The inventoried data will include the building’s location and current condition so that they can be ranked for prioritization as part of redevelopment planning. Once properties are identified and ranked, DEQ will provide technical assistance to Pound to help with future redevelopment efforts.

“Participating in the BAD buildings program will definitely go a long way to assisting the town council to seek funding and attempt to put our town back on the map,” said Leabern Kennedy, vice mayor of Pound. “With new business already coming to Pound, being able to fix existing structures and make them useable options for additional business will help to make us that thriving community once again. We can’t wait for all the new changes that are now more of a reality than a dream.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.