augusta free press news

Staunton seeks grant funds to advance development of city’s West End

stauntonThe City of Staunton plans to submit a grant proposal this year for funding through the Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment Grants program to be awarded in early 2021.

The Economic Development staff has been working with city consultant, Draper Aden Associates, toward developing a redevelopment strategy for Staunton’s West End as the city’s Brownfields target area. These early planning efforts will help strengthen the proposal in a number of ways, but, most significantly, will allow the impacted community to have a voice in how revitalization in this target area will best be guided and accomplished.

A community open house and kick-off meeting was originally planned for March 24 at Montgomery Hall Park but, due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, this meeting was postponed. This event will occur once further state guidance becomes available for easing travel / social distancing measures to allow it to be safely scheduled.

Based on the latest indications from Gov. Ralph Northam, staff remain hopeful that the city will be able to move forward with the community meeting sometime in June or July.

Regarding the overall submittal schedule, EPA anticipates announcing the new grant proposal guidance in August with proposals due in October this year.

Though not guaranteed, EPA has indicated that the grant pool may be actually be increased this year as a part of a national economic stimulus strategy, which bodes well for the program in general and, more particularly, Staunton’s chances of receiving funding in the coming year.

The city will continue to advise of progress and upcoming meetings as the project unfolds and additional information becomes available.