Meeting Kicks Up Ideas for Neighborhood Initiative Funds

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Small group brainstorming for Neighborhood Initiative Funds at the Crozet Community Advisory Committee’s March 15 meeting at Crozet Elementary School. (Photo: Mike Marshall)

Albemarle County’s Neighborhood Funding Initiative is a one-time program to distribute $1.4 million in unallocated county funds from its 2016 budget projects in the county’s seven official development areas.

Ideas for projects in Crozet were brainstormed at the Crozet Community Advisory Committee’s March 15 meeting at Crozet Elementary School that drew 37 interested citizens.

County employees Emily Kilroy and Laurie Allshouse explained the program and the purpose of the evening, then broke up the crowd into groups sitting at the cafeteria tables to come up with suggestions. Money could go for planning or design or for landscaping or beautification, ideas “that improve the quality of life,” said Kilroy, but not for any project that had an ongoing expense.

When the tables reported their conversations, the ideas that came forward included:

  • street, parking and sidewalk improvements to The Square
  • a ramp from Library Avenue or the library parking lot that would allow strollers and wheelchairs to access the Harmony Place playground at Tabor Presbyterian Church
  • crushed stone to put on Crozet trails to allow bikes and strollers to use them
  • a community center with basketball courts and dirt bike jumps
  • a hangout place for teens
  • a “transportation network study” that would identify where roads, parking and sidewalks are needed
  • a walkability study of Crozet
  • development of “western park” in Old Trail
  • a statue of Claudius Crozet to go in the planned plaza downtown
  • a marketing and parking study of the plaza that would help attract tourists
  • seasonal banners for the streetlights on Crozet Avenue
  • a skateboard park
  • neighborhood “links” to the Crozet trails network
  • fitness stations, a Frisbee golf course and a drone race course
  • a sidewalk along Rt. 240 from the Highlands to Starr Hill Brewery
  • sidewalks and repairs to sidewalks around the depot and Fruit Growers buildings
  • a family of sign designs for Crozet parks and trails
  • seed money to start funding for “Eastern Avenue” bridge over Lickinghole Creek
  • another way across the railroad tracks near downtown

At its next meeting April 19, the CCAC will create a prioritized list to send to the county supervisors, who will make funding decisions based on what’s proposed by the different growth areas.

In other CCAC business, current chair David Stoner was reelected to a one-year term and John McKeon was chosen as vice chair. Minute-taking duty will be shared by James King and Mike Kunkel.

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