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HRPDC Meeting Summary-April 18, 2019

HRPDC Meeting Summary-April 18, 2019

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) held its regularly scheduled meeting on April 18, 2019.  A summary of actions and discussions that took place at this meeting is provided below:

Regional Flood Insurance Campaign

The HRPDC received a presentation on a Regional Flood Insurance Campaign coordinated by HRPDC staff through the Coastal Resilience Committee with input from other local staff, including Emergency Management and Public Information Officers. 

In November 2017, HRPDC staff provided an overview of the flood impacts in Houston, Texas from Hurricane Harvey.  This review outlined several issues relevant to Hampton Roads and explored potential planning efforts the region could implement.  One specific area of interest to Commissioners, as well as local staff, was a coordinated approach to public outreach on flood risks, particularly focusing on areas where flood insurance is not required.

Based on this direction, a flood insurance outreach campaign was developed along with a web site entitled www.getfloodfluent.org  The goals of this outreach campaign include:

  • Educate about flood issues and facts and the need for flood insurance, especially here in Hampton Roads
  • Address flood insurance myths and misunderstandings
  • Encourage people to contact their insurance agent to get a quote

The public launch for this program will be as follows:

  • Paid Media
    • Four weeks:  May 6 – June 2
    • Radio (95.7 R&B, FM 99 Rock, US 106.1 Country)
    • TV (WVEC, WAVY)
    • Digital (targeted display, video pre-roll, targeted content, social media)
    • Print (Virginian-Pilot & Daily Press) to run May 8
  • Public Relations
    • Coordinating May launch
    • Brochures/HRSD Bill Inserts
    • Interviews (WVEC Coastal Connections, Hear Say with Cathy Lewis)

Regional Construction Standards

The Commission received a presentation on the HRPDC’s Regional Construction Standards.  The Hampton Roads communities have collaborated to develop Regional Construction Standards to simplify construction and improve the quality of roads, utilities and other right-of-way improvements in the region.  The first edition of HRPDC’s Regional Construction Standards was published in December 1999, and has been regularly updated with the most recent edition published in June 2016. 

These standards offer significant advantages to the Hampton Roads region, including the following:

  • Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiency
    • Economies of scale (bulk purchases)
    • Improves quality control
    • Reduces waste
    • Reduce Errors
      • Avoid wrong materials
      • Avoid measurement conversions
      • Saves Time and Frustration
        • Increases confidence
        • Limits repetition

This program is a model example of long-term regional cooperation that supports private industry by aligning standards across localities, and can serve as a model for other regional collaboration efforts.

Overview of Regional Projects/Planning Efforts

The HRPDC/HRTPO Executive Director provided the Commission an update on a series of regional planning projects and infrastructure initiatives that have the potential to increase the economic competitiveness of the Hampton Roads region.  These efforts include:

  • $5 Billion of regional transportation improvements to the region’s interstate highway system, including the following projects:
    • I-64 Peninsula Project (3 segments)
    • I-264/I-64 Interchange
    • High Rise Bridge and I-64 South Side
    • Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel

These projects are predominantly funded through a regional gas tax and sales and use tax with these funds managed through the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission.  This program of transportation projects rivals that of any metropolitan region in the country. 

  • Regional Fiber Ring Initiative - HRPDC staff continues to coordinate efforts for the Regional Fiber Ring Initiative.  This project is a phased approach that envisions a regional fiber network that interconnects with the transatlantic broadband cables that have landed in Virginia Beach and distributes this ultra-fast fiber throughout the Hampton Roads region.  Phase I of this project would create a fiber ring interconnecting the five cities on the South Side.  Phase II extends to the Peninsula localities, creating a similar ring and Phase III extends westward to the region’s rural localities.  To initiate Phase I of this project, the five South Side cities have collaborated to fund 30% design work for the South Side Fiber Ring.  This work has developed consensus among the five South Side cities on the routing for this South Side Fiber Ring.  The five South Side cities have also acquired legal services to develop a governance structure for this South Side Fiber Ring.  This governance structure will be developed to allow future localities to join this effort.  In addition, the five South Side cities have also agreed to jointly fund the 100% design work for the South Side Fiber Ring, which will produce construction level drawings. 
  • Surface Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT) – The SWIFT project is being advanced by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) and is an innovative water treatment project   designed to further protect the region’s environment, enhance the sustainability of the region’s long-term groundwater supply and help address environmental pressures such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, land subsidence/sea level rise and saltwater intrusion.

SWIFT takes highly treated water that would otherwise be discharged into the Elizabeth, James or York rivers and puts it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to meet drinking water quality standards. The SWIFT Water is then added to the Potomac Aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia.

  • Economic Development Sites Inventory – The HRPDC staff, in collaboration with HREDA and Reinvent Hampton Roads, is coordinating a regional economic development sites inventory to raise awareness about the need for shovel ready economic development sites in Hampton Roads.  This project is outlining a strategy to advance the region’s economic development sites to a Tier 4 and 5 category using the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Tier System.
  • Regional Industrial Facilities Act (RIFA) – Following the February HRPDC meeting where the economic development sites inventory was discussed, the Chief Administrative Officer Committee has continued to discuss the potential for a regional approach to prepare economic development sites in exchange for revenue sharing after these sites are developed.  At the last two CAO Committee meetings, the Peninsula localities briefed the region’s CAOs on the Eastern Virginia RIFA.  The EVRIFA was designed to allow Southside localities to join this framework, and provides a structure for regional coordination and revenue sharing.
  • Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) – HRPDC staff continues to convene and coordinate efforts to restructure HREDA as a regional economic development entity.  A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Alliance’s public sector members and HREDA is being considered for approval by the Organization’s member localities.

Several of these regional efforts represent “generational projects” which collectively can compete with regional efforts in any other metropolitan region in the country.  Mr. Crum stressed the importance of the region marketing these regional efforts in a positive manner to effectively tell the story of the Hampton Roads region.

Other Items

The HRPDC also approved a Consent Agenda which included the following items:

  • 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Regional Priorities

The Virginia CDBG Program provides funding to eligible units of local government to address critical community development needs, including housing, infrastructure and economic development.  This program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) since 1982.  CDBG funds are made available to DHCD by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Each year, the Virginia DHCD requests Planning District Commissions to rank regional priorities for the Virginia CDBG Program and provide a list of anticipated CDBG project proposals from non-entitlement localities.  The HRPDC approved the following CDBG priorities for the 2019 program year:

Priority #1

Comprehensive Community Development

Housing – Housing Rehabilitation

Housing – Housing Production Assistance

Priority #2

Economic Development – Job Creation and Retention

Economic Development – Site Redevelopment

Community Facility

Priority #3

Economic Development – Development Readiness

Economic Development – Business District Revitalization

Community Service Facility

Expected 2019 CDBG Proposals from eligible HRPDC non-entitlement localities and the category for each are as follows:

James City County – Housing Preservation: Scattered Site (Housing – Housing Rehabilitation)

City of Franklin – Madison Street Project Phase II (Comprehensive Community Development)

York County – Carver Gardens Rehabilitation Project Phase II (Housing – Housing Rehabilitation)

Isle of Wight County – James River Christian Academy (Comprehensive Community Development)

  • Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Voluntary Group Long Term Care Insurance Program

The VRS administers the Commonwealth of Virginia Voluntary Group Long Term Care Insurance Program, which is underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Company.  The program is employee-paid, and there is no cost to the HRPDC to elect to provide it to its employees.  The HRPDC has elected to provide this program to staff as a voluntary benefit.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission will be held on May 16th at 12:30 pm at the Regional Building located at 723 Woodlake Drive in Chesapeake.