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Discussions at the Region 5 Meeting focus on a plethora of issues

County leaders engaged in a robust conversation about issues ranging from agriculture to broadband to staffing volunteer fire departments to teacher shortages at the Region 5 Meeting in Albemarle County.

Senator Mark Peake also attended the meeting on June 24 and spoke about several issues of interest to him – water treatment legislation, state assistance with the costs of housing state-responsible inmates in local and regional jails and the Route 29 bypass.

VACo Region 5 members thank Senator Peake for taking the time to share his thoughts and listen to county perspectives. We also thank Delegate Steve Landes for having a representative at the meeting.

One highlight of many Regional Meetings is the “One Thing,” a segment in which each person introduces themselves and shares the issue they believe to be the most pressing concern facing their county. Not surprising, broadband and economic development were most often expressed. Additionally, local food chains, solar regulation, affordable housing, and misassigned voters were also discussed during the exercise.

Gary Wood, President and CEO of the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) followed by sharing how his Co-Op is working to provide Internet access to its customers. Wood spoke about a feasibility study conducted by the CVEC, which analyzed the potential of using CVEC’s infrastructure to bring broadband to its customers. In addition, the CVEC is attempting to utilize state grants, tax abatement incentives, and potential federal resources. Wood stressed that the ultimate goal of the CVEC’s broadband plan is to provide affordable Internet access to its customers.

VACo staff then reported on recent legislative developments impacting the budget, mental health, tobacco taxes, school security, water quality, and more.

Thank you Region 5 Director Ann Mallek and all who attended. These meetings are always very helpful to VACo staff, as they provide important insight into the policy questions that will be addressed in the next VACo legislative platform.

VACo Contact: Angela Inglett

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