Sen. Tim Kaine talks business in Waynesboro

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U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., was in Waynesboro on Thursday to meet with city leaders to discuss economic development in Waynesboro.

Kaine met with City Councilman Tim Williams, City Manager Mike Hamp and Assistant City Manager Jim Shaw to discuss several ongoing development projects in the River City. Kaine then toured Downtown Waynesboro to learn more about the work on the Center for Coldwaters Restoration and to meet with several owntown business owners.

The visit was part of a swing that took Kaine to several Shenandoah Valley locations this week to learn more about what local leaders are working on.

“Some of the issues that Waynesboro is dealing with just reminds me of issues that we wrestled with on Richmond City Council,” said Kaine, whose political career began with a stint on Richmond City Council and a term as mayor in the 1990s.

Since his first election to statewide office in 2001, Kaine has been to Waynesboro a number of times. He said on his most recent visit that it seems that there’s more activity on Main Street. “That’s very positive,” the senator said. “I think folks here have a sense of reclaiming the river and using that as an asset, using the connection to … whether it’s fly fishing or the Appalachian Trail to promote Waynesboro as a good place for outdoor tourism.”

Kaine said the purpose of the visit “is just to learn what the mayor and city council and leaders are focusing on so I can pay attention to issues at the federal leval that can be helpful.”

“There’s just no substitute for seeing it,” Kaine said. “They could write me a letter … they gave me a brochure describing the priorities. You could put this in the mail to me in Washington, but this is two-dimensional. I come, and I get the view, and I hear them talking about what was, what is and what could be, it is much more palpable, and that means I’m more likely, if I’m working on something budget, I’m more likely to say, Hmmm, FEMA funding is really important to issues like flood control, Waynesboro is dealing with flood control issues, Richmond needed to deal with some flood control issues, and we did, and it really helped us, same thing could happen here.

“So, it just takes the priorities that we’re working on every day, and it takes it out of a budget book, and makes it more vivid,” Kaine said.

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