CRC gets CEDS approval

Published 8:24 am Thursday, April 23, 2020

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The Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) received news April 15 that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced approval of the council’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

The CRC received a $60,000 EDA grant in 2017 in order to create the CEDS for the CRC region, according to a release from the CRC. The Berkley Group was hired as the consultant to assist the council in producing the CEDS, which was submitted to EDA for approval in May of last year.

The approval means the CRC’s current member counties of Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Lunenburg and Prince Edward will now be eligible to apply for EDA funding on many types of projects, including economic adjustment, trade adjustment assistance, planning, public works and technical assistance.

“Lunenburg County is pleased to hear of the EDA approval of the CEDS,” Lunenburg County Administrator Tracy Gee said. “We are thankful for the work put forth in the CEDS stakeholder committees, by the CRC board and, most importantly, the efforts of CRC staff to get this process completed and approved.”

“The CRC has done and is doing a lot for Lunenburg County,” District Two Supervisor and CRC Board Chairman Mike Hankins added. “They have worked with the county to help find funding for school buses, to buy equipment for all three of the fire departments and are working with Victoria now to determine the safety of the dams for Victoria’s water supply, just to name a few projects.”

Hankins said the grant will help expand some existing businesses and draw new businesses to the area, which will be especially needed as the county recovers from the current national COVID-19 crisis.

“What helps one county helps us all,” he continued. “We are in this together. I would like to thank the CRC and my fellow board members in Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Prince Edward and now Cumberland counties for their support with this issue.”

CRC’s next step is to apply for an Economic Development District (EDD) designation. EDDs are multi-jurisdictional entities that help lead locally based, regionally driven economic development planning by leveraging involvement of public, private and non-profit sectors, establishing a roadmap for regional collaboration.

“The next step of being designated as an EDD should be soon underway,” Gee continued. “ Lunenburg, including the towns of Victoria and Kenbridge, are excited about the potential economic development and infrastructure funding opportunities that are possible by being part of an EDD.”