eNews March 3, 2023Friday, March 03, 2023 - 04:15pm
This issue is sponsored by:
For more than four decades, Mattern & Craig, Inc. has provided comprehensive civil and sanitary engineering services to public, corporate and governmental agencies throughout Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. We continue to seek new clients and opportunities to apply our knowledge and skills regardless of project location, size, or complexity. Our business is fundamentally about serving the community, and our mission is to improve the safety, efficiency, and well-being of the public. Learn more >.
In this issue:
- Broadband Together Conference registration and information now available!
- Clarification of VML FOIA/COIA training
- Deadline to submit entries for VML’s “If I Were Mayor” essay contest extended to March 10
- Local feedback needed on SMART SCALE survey by Friday, March 10
- Mayors and town/city administrators invited to participate in the March Registered Apprenticeship Challenge
- FY 24 Transit Zero-Fare Grant applications open on March 13, 2023
- Kubota Tractor Corporation’s third annual Kubota Hometown Proud grant program receiving submission until March 31
- VBCOA Mid-Year Conference happening March 25-27
Broadband Together Conference registration and information now available!
Join us May 17-18 at the Hilton Short Pump in Richmond for Broadband Together 2023. Once again we will explore topics that help us expand broadband thoughout the Commonwealth.
Registration, agenda, room reservations, and more are available here >.
This event is co-hosted by the Broadband Association of Virginia (VCTA), the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and the Virginia Municipal League (VML).
Contact: Kimberly Voxland, email@example.com
Clarification of VML FOIA/COIA training
We have received some inquiries related to the requirements needed to fulfill the FOIA and COIA training.
To clarify: The training and certificates participants received for attending the 2022 Annual Conference or the January 4, 2023 VML Elected Officials event do not alone fulfill those requirements.
FOIA – You must take evidence of attending the VML FOIA training (i.e., the VML certificate of attendance) to your local attorney who can conclude that the training requirement has been fulfilled. That documentation should then be filed with your local clerk.
COIA – You must also attend the COIA training that can be found online or in person at http://ethics.dls.virginia.gov/. After the requirements are met you will be provided documentation which should then be filed with your local clerk.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline to submit entries for VML’s “If I Were Mayor” essay contest extended to March 10
Thanks to all the kids who have submitted essays so far! We are happy to announce that we are giving everyone else one extra week to get their essays completed and submitted. We will not be able to offer extensions after March 10, so seize this opportunity while you can!
About the contest
The Virginia Municipal League (VML) invites students from VML member municipalities enrolled in the 7th Grade during the 2022-2023 school year to join its “If I were Mayor” essay contest.
Regional winners selected from around the state will each receive a $150 gift card and a plaque. One statewide winner chosen from the regional winners will receive a $250 gift card and a plaque. The runner-up from the region that receives the statewide award will become that region’s winner.
Winning essays will be featured in the May issue of VML’s magazine Virginia Town & City.
More information about the contest and instructions on how to submit essays are available on VML’s website here >.
The deadline to submit entries is the end of the day on Friday, March 10.
Good luck everyone!
VML Contact: Manuel Timbreza, email@example.com
Local feedback needed on SMART SCALE survey by Friday, March 10
Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation Shep Miller has distributed a survey be conducted of SMART Scale stakeholders including Local and State elected officials, local employees and transportation professionals, transit providers and regional transportation organizations.
The survey is available here >.
This survey is intended to determine if SMART scale is meeting its stated goal to “identify the projects that provide the greatest benefit for the investment” on behalf of the Commonwealth and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to provide feedback on the SMART Scale program.
The survey is the key first step of a review process that is intended to result in recommendations for procedural, policy and code changes that will be presented to the Commonwealth Transportation Board in December of this year.
It is important that VML members keep in mind that SMART Scale itself only allocates the funds made available for transportation construction by the General Assembly. The 2020 legislation that raised fuel taxes and indexed those taxes to the rate of inflation had not been in place for even a full year before funding was removed for transportation because of the elimination of the sales tax on groceries. Virginia’s transportation revenues have long been insufficient to meet the expected transportation needs of the Commonwealth and SMART Scale was intended to provide a method to allocate these limited funds more objectively and transparently than prior methods of selecting transportation projects.
The fact remains that no matter how the transportation revenues pie is sliced the pie itself continues to be too small. SMART Scale has only allocated 10-22 percent of requested projects all but ensuring that most of the projects submitted will not be funded. Without ensuring adequate resources are available Virginia will continue to fall short of meeting our transportation construction needs.
VML members are encouraged to take the time to take the survey on SMART Scale as these responses will be an important component of future discussions about how this program may be improved or changed by the Commonwealth Transportation Board or the General Assembly.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to VML staff with any questions or concerns about this issue.
VML Contact: Mitchell Smiley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayors and town/city administrators invited to participate in the March Registered Apprenticeship Challenge
Do you want to keep people in your town? Do you want to attract new residents through employment? Registered Apprenticeship is a toll that brings a high return on investment.
The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) Division of Registered Apprenticeship is seeking out mayors and town/city administrators to start a dialogue with its regional registered apprenticeship consultants. The purpose is to bring visibility to this earn-while-you-learn, occupational training model to all hiring agents.
By partnering with DOLI you can help bring Registered Apprenticeship to your locality!
More information is available here >.
DOLI Contact: Patricia Morrison, Patricia.Morrison@doli.virginia.gov
FY 24 Transit Zero-Fare Grant applications open on March 13, 2023
Application deadline: April 7, 2023
The Virginia Transit Association (VTA) is pleased to announce its Transit Zero-Fare for Working Families program, a competitive grant program designed to help needy families by promoting access to employment and job training through public transit.
In total, up to $500,000 will be made available in the FY24 Virginia budget to fund this program for local governments, nonprofit organizations, and transit agencies.
The program is funded through Virginia’s federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. This program will support projects that benefit persons who have a dependent child and are below 200% of the federal poverty level. Eligible projects include providing fixed route bus service, on-demand bus or van service, and other public transit services for TANF eligible persons traveling to and from work or job training.
The application window will open on Monday, March 13 with applications and cost estimate projections due by Friday, April 7 at 4 p.m. To apply, download program guidelines, the application form, and the cost estimate form, visit: https://vatransit.com/TANFGrant
Contact: Program-related questions can be mailed to TANFgrant@vatransit.com
Kubota Tractor Corporation’s third annual Kubota Hometown Proud grant program receiving submission until March 31
Do you know of someone in Virginia who could use $100,000 to revitalize a community project like a public space, ag center, park, community garden or another project?
Kubota Tractor Corporation’s third annual Kubota Hometown Proud grant program is now open! The program will award FIVE $100,000 grants across the country to revitalize or refresh community spaces. What’s more? One of the winning projects will also be up for an additional $100,000 based on public vote in August. Why? Kubota’s motto is “Together We Do More,” and it’s their mission is to support organizations like local governments help keep our communities strong and leave them better than they were before.
Kubota Hometown Proud summary
Calling all 501(c)(3) Nonprofits and Municipalities: Enter a community project into the Kubota Hometown Proud Grant ™ Program for a chance to win $100,000 to revitalize a public space. The application process is open March 1 through March 31, 2023, and any community project – from parks and playgrounds to rodeo arenas or community gardens and more – is invited to enter. Five winners will be selected to win $100,000. Then, from August 1-14 the public is invited to cast a vote for one of the top five winning projects. The community project with the highest number of votes will be presented with the Kubota Community Choice Award and will receive an additional $100,000 grant in September.
Visit KubotaHometownProud.com to enter.
VBCOA Mid-Year Conference happening March 25-27
The Virginia Building & Code Officials Association (VBCOA) will hold its Mid-Year Conference March 25 – March 27 at the Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg.
Visit the VBCOA site to:
- Reserve rooms
- View a draft agenda
- See sponsorship opportunities
- …and more!
VML Contact: Josette Bulova, email@example.com
DHCD Community Development Block Grants: How-to-Apply webinar March 22
The Virginia Community Development Block Grant Program will be holding its annual How-to-Apply session on Wednesday, March 22 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
The event is free but please register by Friday, March 17th in order to receive the login information in time for the event.
The 2023 CDBG How-to-Apply session will provide information on application and project development for the 2023 CDBG programs. DHCD will provide timeline and funding information for all project types, as well as tips for creating a successful application.
A recording of the webinar will be posted to the DHCD website for those who are unable to attend.
DHCD Contact: Matt Weaver, firstname.lastname@example.org