The two GO Virginia applications endorsed by the HRPDC were submitted to the GO Virginia Regional Council for funding consideration on October 31st. Applications for the Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Initiative and the Hampton Roads Broadband Initiative were a collaborative effort between the HRPDC staff and staffs from the participating localities.
HRPDC staff joined locality staff to present the two proposals to the GO Virginia Review Committees on November 6th and November 10th, and on November 14th, the GO Virginia Regional Council endorsed both projects (two of five total projects) for funding in GO Virginia Region 5. The State GO Virginia Board is scheduled to make final funding decisions on December 12th.
The GO Virginia Regional Council had a little over $2.2 million to use for projects that met the GO Virginia initiative of encouraging “collaboration at the regional level to grow and diversify the economy of each region and ultimately the Commonwealth.” The Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Initiative was recommended to receive $150,000 to continue with the design and development of a multi-purpose facility for use by public institutions and private companies to develop, test and demonstrate unmanned systems. This regional facility is proposed for a 462 acre site in York County. The Regional Council also recommended funding for the Hampton Roads Broadband Initiative with $530,000 to create a regional fiber optic network that connects employment areas, higher education facilities, research institutions and municipal facilities throughout the region.
At its December 12th meeting, the State GO Virginia Board will make the final decision on funding for proposals from all nine regions in the state. The two Hampton Roads projects will be eligible for additional GO Virginia funds including $11 million that will be available in January 2018. Both HRPDC-endorsed projects are multiple locality projects: the Hampton Roads Unmanned Systems Initiative (the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, and James City and York counties) and the Hampton Roads Broadband Initiative (the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk).
For more information on the projects, click HERE.
Watch the video, Hampton Roads Regional Broadband, produced by the City of Virginia Beach, supporting the Hampton Roads Broadband Initiative: