WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), announced more than $18.5 million in funding for seven community projects throughout Coastal Virginia. Funded through the government funding package passed by the House of Representatives, which also provides military and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, the community projects respond directly to the most pressing needs in Coastal Virginia.
“I’m proud to announce more than $18.5 million in funding for seven community projects throughout Coastal Virginia to support first responders and improve public safety, invest in infrastructure and public transportation, develop affordable housing, and expand education opportunities,” Rep. Luria said. “These seven projects will spur economic development and growth in the region, and make our community healthier, safer, stronger, and more resilient.”
The twelve-bill government funding package will help middle class families with the cost of living, create American jobs, supports the vulnerable, and works to help small businesses that are key to our economic future.
“Today, Fire, EMS, and Law enforcement personnel in the Eastern Shore of Virginia counties are operating on older public safety radio systems, with coverage issues and an overall lack of interoperability. The funding included in the FY22 federal budget towards the building and implementation of a new state of-the-art regional public safety radio system for our region will provide much improved communications for our emergency responders, ultimately leading to safer communities for those in our region. The efforts by Representative Luria and others, in securing funding for this needed project in our region, are appreciated,” said Jeffrey Flournoy, Director of the Eastern Shore 911 Commission.
“This important funding will support a new HRT bus operations and maintenance facility in Virginia Beach, which will create much needed capacity for the future electrification of our transit fleet. This new facility will provide long-term environmental sustainability for the region, as well as reduce operating costs for our municipalities. We are grateful to Congresswoman Luria for her support of public transit throughout Hampton Roads, which provides a lifeline for our front-line workers to access employment centers, reduces congestion on our roads, and enhances future economic development,” Andria McClellan, Chairperson, Transportation Commission of Hampton Roads said.
“We are extremely grateful for Congresswoman Luria’s support for Phase 2 of the Legacy Development Project in Exmore, Virginia. Her advocacy for quality single and multi-family housing choices that are affordable for families on the Eastern Shore has been unparalleled by an elected official in our community,” Ava Gabrielle-Wise founder, CEO and President of the United States Sustainable Development said. “The Eastern Shore of Virginia is in the midst of a severe housing crisis that has many of our citizens living in dire straits. The Legacy Project will afford dozens of families the possibility to have a place that they can proudly call home. Many thanks to Congresswoman Luria for making it possible.”
Rep. Luria also advocated to include more funding for the Norfolk Coastal Storm Risk Management Project. However, additional funding was not included in the omnibus package passed today due to Rep. Luria securing nearly $250 million for the project through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in January.”
“United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, with the leadership of our Board of Directors, has taken immense strides to continue turning resources back to our community, creating Pathways out of Poverty for our friends and neighbors who need us most. The support from this appropriation for the Community Assistance Network will enable United Way to further invest in our community’s most impactful resources which will ultimately result in more peninsula residents on the path to self-sufficiency. On behalf of our nonprofit partners, and all of those in the peninsula community working to serve and support those experiencing poverty, we are tremendously grateful for the kindness and advocacy of Congresswoman Luria and her belief in our ability to bridge gaps in resources and create solutions that lift people out of poverty,” Steve Kast, President & CEO of the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula said.
“On behalf of the Accomack Northampton Transportation District Commission (ANTDC), the Eastern Shore Rail Trail Foundation and local organizations and members of the Eastern Shore Community, we would like to thank Congresswoman Luria and her extended team for their support of the first phase of the Eastern Shore Rail Trail at Cape Charles. The grant provided will be instrumental in providing a place for residents and visitors to enjoy the Eastern Shore’s scenic beauty while walking and riding along a safe, vehicular-free corridor. We greatly appreciate the teamwork, support and foresight from all who have collaborated to make this vision come closer to reality,” said Donald Hart, ANTDC Chairman.
The funding for Coastal Virginia and the funding increases for critical government programs will reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities and strengthen our nation. Community projects are restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding.
“I am inspired by the students and staff at the Achievable Dream Academy at Seatack Elementary. Every day they focus on building the foundation for their future, and they exemplify the belief that all children need to feel belonging in their classrooms to meet the highest academic expectations. AADA embodies love, care and learning, and we are thrilled this additional support will help grow and strengthen this partnership,” Virginia Beach City Public Schools Superintendent Aaron C. Spence, Ed.D. said.
“The erosion and destabilization of the stream between the Berkeley Hills and Walnut Hills subdivisions has cut into the property of neighbors, exposed a sewage pipe, and sent runoff into the Chesapeake Bay for years. This restoration project will restore the stream to a more natural condition, mitigate erosion, and reduce contamination of this important natural resource. We are grateful to receive this federal money, which makes it possible for us to begin work on the project immediately,” Williamsburg Mayor Doug Pons said.
More information on the seven community projects passed by the House of Representatives for Coastal Virginia can be found here.
The complete list of approved community projects for Coastal Virginia is below:
Virginia Beach Parks Avenue Facility Replacement
Recipient: Hampton Roads Transit
Project Description: The project will replace a functionally obsolete bus operations and maintenance facility which lacks capacity to house and service both the existing and new fleet of vehicles. The funding will help support year-round public transit operations based out of Virginia Beach.
Accomack and Northampton Counties Regional Public Safety Radio Communications System
Recipient: Accomack County and Northampton County
Project Description: The funding will replace the entire Accomack and Northampton Counties public safety radio communications system with public safety grade, reliable, integrated, mission-critical voice and data communications for first responders and law enforcement.
Eastern Shore Rails to Trails Project
Recipient: Accomack-Northampton County Transportation District Commission
Project Description: The project will convert 2.3 miles of the abandoned Eastern Shore Railroad right of way and VDOT right of way into a multi-use recreational trail. This project includes Project Engineering/Survey/Design work, three intersection improvements, a traffic signal modification, and the construction of one trail head, one Park & Ride lot, and 2.3 miles of 10’ wide paved path.
An Achievable Dream Academy Education Program in Virginia Beach
Recipient: An Achievable Dream Education Program in Virginia Beach
Project Description: Funding will support core program expenses for Seatack Elementary and Lynnhaven Middle Schools in Virginia Beach, as the An Achievable Dream Education Program brings equity to education in underserved communities. The project will also assist in opening a high school location and adding grade levels to the program to reach K-12 status.
Eastern Shore Legacy Project of New Road, Phase II
Recipient: New Road Community Development Group of Exmore, Inc
Project Description: The funding will be used to redevelop a 9-acre site into a mixed-use, residential community and expand the existing community with light commercial/office/retail development. The new walkable community will include approximately 30 homes ranging from 450 to 1200 square feet that will be made available for homeownership opportunities to low-and-moderate income citizens.
United Way Regional Community Resource Center on the Virginia Peninsula
Recipient: United Way of the Virginia Peninsula
Project Description: The Regional Community Resource Center will enhance the current call center to a comprehensive, proactive wrap-around service center that assigns advocates to people in need.
Williamsburg Stormwater Abatement and Streambank Stabilization Project
Recipient: City of Williamsburg
Project Description: The funding will be used to restore the eroded downstream channel using guidance from the water quality improvement plan for nutrient and sediment reduction as part of the City’s Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Action Plan.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the committee’s Vice Chair, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Homeland Security.