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Press Release
Albemarle County Celebrates Accomplishments of 2017
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Submitted Press Release | Albemarle County | Friday, January 12, 2018 at 4:07 p.m.

Releases Year-in-Review Video

Even though we have already rung in 2018, Albemarle County would like to take a moment to pause and reflect on the considerable accomplishments of the past 12 months. Despite the challenges we faced in 2017, we have much to celebrate.

We continued to reinforce our emphasis on regional partnerships through our involvement in the Tom Tom Festival’s Hometown Summit and Smart C’ville’s Civic Innovation Day. Additionally, we collaborated regionally on important local objectives such as the Jefferson Area Regional Transit Partnership, economic development initiatives, taking steps to reduce solar energy costs, and acceptance into AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. “Albemarle’s on-going focus on regional partnerships helps build on the strengths that our citizens appreciate and value about the community in which they live,” said Board Chair Ann Mallek, “We all benefit when the region is successful.”

Within our borders, the Board of Supervisor’s FY 17 – 19 Strategic Plan realized a year of hard work and implementation to advance the two-year action objectives that were identified as the most immediate, urgent and clearly-defined items associated with the County’s long-term goals. Learn more about the Strategic Plan at www.albemarle.org/strategicplan.

We emphasized our strategic approach to growth management and thoughtful development of the urban areas with the kick-off the Pantops Master Plan update with the Pantops Community Advisory Committee in November. “The Pantops Master Plan is ready for an update,” said Board Vice Chair Norman Dill. “I’m excited that its time has come and eager to work with the community to help develop a vision for the future of the Pantops area and Rivanna River Corridor.”

2017 saw a sustained pledge to productive collaboration with our citizens, community groups, and other key stakeholders, most notably with the introduction of the Neighborhood Improvement Funding Initiative, or NIFI. “This creative, innovative initiative is as much a demonstration of Albemarle’s commitment to public engagement as much as it is to building the infrastructure and amenities that help make our urban areas attractive and vibrant community centers,” said Supervisor Diantha McKeel. Nearly 500 community members participated in the process, generating over 400 project ideas for small-scale, quality-of-life, neighborhood improvement projects. The list of projects went through an inclusive selection process, ending with recommendations to the Board of Supervisors from the County’s seven Community Advisory Committees. Learn more about the NIFI program and process at www.albemarle.org/cac.

We maintained our focus on stewardship and efficiency as the County received over $2.5 million in grant funding, including a Virginia Telecommunications Grant to further our broadband efforts. “The benefits of community-wide broadband access are many,” said Supervisor Liz Palmer. “I am proud of the achievements the County has made to advance this initiative including the creation of the Albemarle Broadband Authority and the pursuit and award of grants to bring access to some of our underserved areas. We are excited to build on this success in the coming year.” Learn more about Albemarle County’s broadband initiative at www.albemarle.org/broadband.

Our dedication to quality service resulted in state and national recognitions including reaffirmation of our AAA bond rating from all three credit rating agencies and prestigious awards presented to both the Finance Department and the Office of Management and Budget from the Government Finance Officers Association. “The recognition and awards that the Finance Department and the Office of Management and Budget continue to receive reflects the County’s emphasis on efficient and effective financial management practices,” said Supervisor Rick Randolph, “This helps position the County to be able to consider unanticipated opportunities such as the recent Biscuit Run lease agreement we entered into with the Commonwealth.”

Our capital program saw the groundbreaking of major construction projects including those funded by the 2016 bond referendum, the largest of which is the addition, renovation, and modernization of Woodbrook Elementary School. We completed multiple pedestrian projects including those at Hollymead and Powell Creek, the new walking path at Old Lynchburg Road, and the Route 250 pedestrian crossing signal and sidewalks at State Farm Boulevard. The community celebrated major transportation improvements with the completion of the final two Route 29 Solutions Projects, the Berkmar Drive extension and Route 29 widening. “These capital projects reflect the County’s commitment to transforming our urban areas into cohesive, attractive, vibrant places that embody the vision and intent of their respective master plans,” said Supervisor Ned Gallaway.

Our 2017 Citizen Survey results indicated that residents continue to rate Albemarle County as an outstanding place to live, work, and play. We stayed in the headlines for successes like achievement awards for the Regional Firearms Training Center and Turnout Gear Repair Program; platinum level certification in Virginia Municipal League’s Green Government Challenge; and ranking 1st in the nation and 1st in Virginia for utilizing information technology to Deliver Digital Services.

These are just a few of the achievements and milestones Albemarle County celebrated in 2017. For a more complete list, please take a moment to watch our Year in Review video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwi5MeqFrBA&t=5s. We would like to thank our community for joining with your local government in a strong partnership that has created these outstanding success stories. We look forward to your active participation and support as we work together in 2018 as we continue to respond to the evolving needs of our community.
 

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