Albemarle County 2020 Budget – need your help to voice support for trails

Albemarle County 2020 Budget – need your help to voice support for trails

Trail advocates, this is a long email, but CAMBC needs your help if you are a County resident to make sure our community is heard voicing our support for funding trails and greenways in Albemarle County. Please take 5 minutes to read this, and another 10 to send in a message, or even better, come to the public hearing and make a statement today.

Today, Tuesday, February 19th at 6pm, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will have a public hearing on the County’s FY20 Budget recommended by the County Executive. Included in that budget request are a variety of items in Parks and Recreation that you should aware of:

In the Operating budget,

  • A Ditch Witch Brush Cutter and Dump Trailer (for improved trail maintenance)
  • An additional headcount position titled “Park and Greenbelt planner”
  • Continued support to maintain the existing parks.

In the Capital request

  • $2,171,702 for Hedgerow Property Trail Park
  • $1,154,948 for the Rivanna Reservoir Boat Launch
  • And for 2121, $6 million for “Albemarle Bicycle/Pedestrian Quality of Life projects (mostly sidewalks and continued work on building a greenway along Rio Road to connect the new Berkmar greenway to the John Warner Parkway greenway)

On a larger note, the Board of Supervisors and staff have publicly acknowledged the high priority of quality of life spending for trails and greenways, followed by parks and recreation field expansion.

In order to pay for all of these improvements (and many others), the County Executive has recommended a real estate tax increase of 1.5 cents.

We at CAMBC need your help to let the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors know that you support the funding of the improvements for trail parks (Hedgerow and Biscuit Run) and we support the tax increase to pay for these improvements. You can let the Board know by speaking up at the public hearing on TODAY or by emailing them directly and letting them know you support these important initiatives.

Recommended talking points to include in your communication:

  • If you are a county resident, which district you live in.
  • You are a trail user, and believe funding of trail parks (Hedgerow and Biscuit Run) and greenways that connect communities with parks and business areas should be a priority for County quality of life spending.
  • You support the 1.5 cent increase in the tax rate to help fund Hedgerow’s opening, and increased staffing for a Park and Greenway planner (or whatever you support).
  • You also request prioritizing dedicated funding for a soft opening of Biscuit Run park as quickly as possible, allowing it to open as a “trail park” like Preddy Creek until funding for the master plan can be determined (which includes paved trails, fields, shelters etc.).
    • Background: there currently is no “budgeted” funding for Biscuit Run because the County expected supplementary funds from Richmond, which now are at risk of not happening.
  • Include some background on how you use the trails, how you volunteer to build and maintain trails, and how you feel that the county needs to increase trails and trails support to meet the needs of the growing trail user community…
  • And finally thank them for their existing support and attention to the importance of trails and greenways for the quality of life here in Albemarle County.

If you are a County resident, public comments DO have an impact. Supervisors DO need to hear from you. This is a rare opportunity to make your voice heard to support trails in the County.

To email all of the Supervisors (and County Executive) at the same time you can send an email to bos@albemarle.org.

The email addresses for the Board of Supervisors are:

Rick Randolph (Scottsville District) – rrandolph@albemarle.org
Anne Mallek (White Hall District) – amallek@albemarle.org
Liz Palmer (Samuel Miller District) – lpalmer@albemarle.org
Diantha McKeel (Jack Jouett District) – dmckeel@albemarle.org
Ned Galloway (Rio District) – ngallaway@albemarle.org
Norman Dill (Rivanna District) – ndill@albemarle.org

If you live in Albemarle County and you don’t know who your supervisor is you can find out at this link.
http://www.albemarle.org/department.asp?department=bos&relpage=17976

After the public hearing on the 19th, the Budget process continues with Board of Supervisors Work Sessions on February 21 at 3pm, February 26 at 5pm, February 28 at 3pm and March 4 at 3pm. In the sessions, the Board will discuss changes to the budget. These sessions are not for public comment on the budget, so it is important for you to speak up before these sessions so that the trail park funding remains in the budget. On April 9, the Board will hold a second public hearing on the 2019 tax rate and the budget proposed by the Board. The Board will then vote on the Budget on April 16.

This is a link to the recommended budget –
http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/Forms_Center/Departments/Budget/Forms/FY20/FY_20_Budget_Full_Document.pdf

This is a link to the budget calendar –
http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/budget/forms/fy20/a2_budget%20calendar.pdf

Bookmark the permalink.