Albemarle Co. Charlottesville Fluvanna Co. Greene Co. Louisa Co. Nelson Co.
  
Louisa County Population: 33,153
Education:
4,760 students; Schools--
4 elementary, 1 middle, 1 high
FY12 Operating Budget:
$84.6 million (including schools)
Real Estate Tax Rate:
$.62 per $100 assessed value
Total civilian employment: 16,914**

*2010 Census population
** Va Workforce Connection 2010

Louisa County

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Louisa Transportation Plan

TJPDC completed its two-year partnership with Louisa County on developing a transportation plan. This document will serve as a useful resource to local decision makers on transportation related topics. It provides detailed data on commuting, travel patterns, state transportation programs and an inventory of existing roadways. The plan also includes a catalog of transportation and land use strategies that will help improvement the transportation network in the County. Staff carefully crafted this plan to be consistent with Louisa County's goals for managed growth.

County staff used this information to develop a detailed project list for new roadways, railroad crossings, bridges and trails throughout Louisa County. With the Assistance of the Virginia Department of Transportation, this project list includes estimated costs to help the County better plan their financial resources. To help fund these projects, the TJPDC included a funding section that focuses on implementation strategies in the field of transportation. The goal was to have a plan that would provide tangible results for Louisa County and to help provide the link between transportation and land use decisions.

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Planning and Development Review Assistance for Local Towns

The TJPDC signed contracts with the Towns of Louisa and Mineral to provide these communities with any development assistance or planning services they may need. Under this agreement, the TJPDC is providing professional planning staff to deal with the day-to-day planning and administration of the towns’ development. This assistance includes development review services, such as evaluating site plans, subdivision plats, or rezoning/special use permit cases, along with other associated tasks. TJPDC also is providing general planning services that include ordinance development, planning studies, plan development and other general planning activities.

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Mineral CDBG Application Submitted

TJPDC submitted a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for the Town of Mineral, requesting $1 million for a Business District Revitalization project in its downtown area. The March 2011 submittal marks the culmination of over two years of work by the PDC, Town of Mineral and other community stakeholders. While this grant ultimately was not awarded, these efforts created a wealth of information and plans that can be applied to future funding applications. The TJPDC continues to work with local partners to identify new sources of grant money to finance the critical programs and projects needed to revitalize Mineral’s downtown. These efforts include a revolving loan fund for businesses, marketing and branding plans, pedestrian improvements and redevelopment of critical sites.

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Local Government Employment Awareness Training

Through a Virginia Association of Disability Services Board grant, the Jefferson Area Disability Services Board, which is staffed by TJPDC, provided training and resource materials to area localities in an effort to increase their ability to hire individuals with disabilities. A session was held with Louisa County staff in September. This and the other training sessions held were designed to build awareness on hiring practices, available resources through the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS), and reasonable accommodations. They included an overview of DRS services, disability awareness and etiquette, assistive technology in the workplace, and testimonials by employees with disabilities.

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Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

The TJPDC, in partnership with the Thomas Jefferson and Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Rivanna River Basin Commission, lead the Piedmont Regional Pilot Project, one of two projects selected in Virginia to provide input into the shaping of the Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) process for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (pollution diet). The project produced focus groups to solicit input from those stakeholders that will be most affected by the TMDL. Feedback to the state and the Environmental Protection Agency provided by this project ensured that localities had the flexibility to shape implementation strategies to be deployed at the local level to meet target pollution reduction goals set by the state. Louisa County has the benefit of consulting local data to inform strategies for meeting local pollution reduction targets. Local governments maintain control over participation and strategy development in the Phase II WIP process.

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RideShare Assistance

RideShare provided carpool matching to nine new applicants and Guaranteed Ride Home benefits for 15 residents of Louisa County in FY11. RideShare also is an active member of the Louisa County Interagency Council. Two of the most used Park & Ride lots are located in Louisa County, at Zion Crossroads and Gum Springs, which together serve over 60 commuters on an average weekday.

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HOME Consortium

In the past fiscal year (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011) the HOME Consortium drew down $934,280.50 in HOME funds, excluding administrative funds. Fifteen percent of HOME funds are reserved for Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) projects. Remaining funds are evenly distributed among the six localities. For FY11, each locality was allocated $125,969 for projects for the year and $5,878 to defray administrative costs. Sub-recipients could also draw down funds carried forward from previous years.

The Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation (FLHF) serves as the sub-recipient for Louisa County, drawing down $117,757 in HOME funds during the year, as well at $5,878 for administrative costs. In Louisa County, FLHF completed two down payment assistance projects, one new house for a first-time homebuyer, one new rental unit and fifteen owner-occupied rehabilitation projects.

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Charlottesville HOME Consortium Heat Pump Revolving Loan Fund

On behalf of the Charlottesville HOME Consortium, TJPDC was awarded $199,980 in February 2010 to establish a revolving loan fund for heat pump upgrades Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson Counties. The grant is through the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant (EECBG) administered by the Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy (DMME). Through the program, households will benefit by replacing inefficient units near the end of their useful life with new high efficiency 16 SEER heat pumps. All repaid and recaptured EECBG funds will be returned to the loan fund for use toward additional heat pump replacement projects beyond the end of the grant.

The Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation (FLHF) completed 13 heat pump projects in Louisa County, totaling 19,324 square feet and drawing down $70,789 in EECBG funds. FLHF also received $500 per project to cover the costs of outreach and project management.

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Legislative Efforts

TJPDC informed state legislators representing Louisa County on issues of concern specifically related to the state budget, land use issues and the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.

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Rural Long Range Transportation Plan

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission approved the region's Rural Long Range Transportation Plan (RLRP), in December 2010. The RLRP lists all potential transportation roadway improvements in the rural portions of the region. Louisa County reviewed their local roadway priorities during the RLRP planning process. This project list is comprehensive, including intersection and road improvements across the entire county. Some of the highest priorities are along U.S. 15 and 208, which are tightly linked with Louisa's growth management policies. The final RLRP document is a central information source for all transportation projects in Louisa County. This resource will be beneficial for planning staff, elected officials, and members of the public.

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Transportation and Housing Alliance (THA)

In October of 2010, The TJPDC started work on a grant to increase the use and awareness of the Transportation and Housing Alliance (THA) Toolkit across the state. The Virginia Department of People with Disabilities is funding this project, which will help integrate the needs of the elderly and those with disabilities into the daily workings of local government. This project includes the development of:

  • An assessment tool that evaluates local policies and procedures;
  • A list of common barriers to implementing accessibility; and
  • Model ordinance language that serves as an inventory of tools for localities.

To develop and test these deliverables, the TJPDC conducted six case studies, representing the Thomas Jefferson Planning District's member localities, including Louisa County.

The County's planning staff completed our Assessment Tool form, identifying barriers to accessibility in local regulations, policies and procedures. While these responses revealed that Louisa County already took several actions to meet these needs, there were opportunities for further action. The County is already drafting ordinance amendments that will help those with mobility limitations. The TJPDC will continue to work with Louisa County to draft additional amendments to increase accessibility throughout the community.