To benefit its cash-strapped member jurisdictions, the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission voted at its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23, to retain a lower locality participation fee for the next two years.
Dan Kavanagh, the outgoing executive director, said Feb. 24 that the lower fees had been in effect for the past two years. Mathews, Gloucester and the other four Middle Peninsula counties will each pay $5,000 per year for each of the next two fiscal years, instead of the regular $10,000 local contribution, while the towns of Urbanna, West Point and Tappahannock will each pay $1,667 per year, down from the regular $3,300 fee.
The request was made by O.J. Cole, a Mathews supervisor who also serves on the MPPDC board.
Cole and several other board members indicated how tough the economic times have been, Kavanagh said, and "we had a good discussion" on that matter.
On a separate matter, the commission adopted its Community Development Block grant regional priorities list. At the request of Mathews, the proposed list was modified so that economic development—business district revitalization could be moved from Priority #3, or lowest tier, to Priority #1, or the highest tier.
That change will support Mathews County’s plan for revitalization of its downtown. The block grants are very competitive, Kavanagh said, and he understands that Mathews and West Point will be applying for grants from this region.
Representing Mathews on the MPPDC board are supervisors Janine Burns and Cole, citizen representative Tim Hill, and county administrator Steve Whiteway.
The MPPDC board also tabled a resolution encouraging Middle Peninsula localities to consider the cost and benefit of establishing a No Discharge Zone designation for certain estuarine waters of this region.