PETERSBURG, Virginia (WWBT) – Getting around Petersburg just got easier with the opening of the new Park and Ride transportation service in the city, but city and state leaders say it’s just the beginning of what’s planned in Petersburg.
On Tuesday morning, Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham received thanks from Governor Glenn Yongkin and other state and local leaders when they unveiled the city’s multi-media center on W Washington Street and South Union Street, which includes an $8 million, 75,000-square-foot complex. Park and Ride Services.
“The new facility that opened here today represents the future of public transportation in our city,” Parham said.
The Park and Ride facility will be the central hub for a new fleet of 28 vehicles, including 35-foot vans and buses and a unique two-level parking deck capable of accommodating approximately 215 vehicles, says Charles Koons, director of mass transit. He says it will significantly expand the city’s transit capacity.
“We can go to McGuire Hospital, we just started a new route that goes to Emporia, Greenville and Stony Creek, and we just partnered with Richard Bland College,” Koncy said. “We want to encourage people to take the bus.”
Parking is free, and passengers will not be charged to ride the buses either. Koonce says the plan is to keep the service free for as long as possible with the help of state and local dollars.
“We will take a look at it in the future to see if this is something we can maintain or if we have to go back to shipping, but for now, we are looking at about a year and two months,” Konsi said. “We are working on another grant through the Ministry of Railways and Transport. public for another year and about two months.”
“Because of the fact that we are going to other jurisdictions and we are increasing, the need for security for the people of Petersburg is also increasing,” Konsi said.
Governor Glenn Yongkin also took the stage to discuss Partnership Updates for Unbelievable Petersburg back in August. The governor says the state has secured $500,000 to fund a city business called the Petersburg Founder’s Fund.
“It is a new competitive grant to support the launch and expansion of new and existing companies in Petersburg,” Yongkin said.
The governor says the money for that grant comes from the Virginia Innovation Partnership Foundation, an extension of the Commerce and Trade Trust. Yongkin says the plan is to have local business leaders and economic developers oversee applications and make recommendations on awards.
“Together with this fund, the Innovation Partnership Foundation, in collaboration with Virginia State University, the Small Business Development Center and other stakeholders, we will award up to $25,000 in individual competitive grants to startups and fast-growing companies in Petersburg,” he said. Youngkin.
According to the governor, the grant targets specific industries such as information technology, hospitality, tourism, professional services, food and beverage, and life and health sciences.
“Friends, that’s great. Let’s go grow our business in Petersburg,” said Yongkin.
An update was also provided for health initiatives funded through the Petersburg Partnership. Since the program’s launch, Yongkin says the Medicaid Health Plan partners in St. Petersburg have collectively generated more than $3 million in responsible investment for the contribution and service across the St. Petersburg community of more than 35 temporary health clinics.
Health clinics focus on accessing special needs dental care, eye care, diabetes screening, and more. Before the end of the year, Yongkin says that it is planned to establish at least 14 more temporary clinics in Petersburg.
On the crime front, Yongkin also announced other $500,000 grants to support youth drug abuse prevention, childhood obesity, and new playgrounds.
“This is our most important goal, to reduce crime so that Petersburg can thrive,” said Yongkin.
To address juvenile crime, Yongkin says additional funding will be allocated to the Crater Academy of Criminal Justice through the Petersburg Police Department’s Law Enforcement Academy to provide high-level training on the Virginia State University campus to specifically address the state’s violent crime initiative methods.
“Soon VSU students will be able to graduate from college after completing written police academy training and examination, and can go to work directly,” Youngkin said. “This is exciting.”
In addition to the governor’s promises to invest in crime prevention, Kunsi says the opening of the park and ride could lead to the creation of a transit police department in Petersburg.
The progress report also included plans to improve the city’s infrastructure in some of the most economically challenging areas. As such, the city was awarded $2.8 million in grants as part of its community flood preparedness plan.
“The grant will fund the Lakemont District Flood Prevention and Protection Project, which will improve the structural storm water transmission system that will provide community-wide benefits, particularly for this underserved department in Petersburg,” Yongkin said. “The community is also working together on water quality remediation actions consistent with the goals of the Chesapeake Bay.”
Regarding education, the governor also announced that the Virginia State University Laboratory School proposal has been submitted, beginning in preschool and sixth grade and continuing to expand to serve additional degrees with a focus on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science.
The governor said the Commonwealth has invested an additional $327,000 in Petersburg to support the YMCA in expanding its pre-school services to all four Petersburg elementary schools. He also announced that the Commonwealth had awarded the city nearly $400,000 to support on-site coordinators during after-school activities at Blanford Educational Academy and Petersburg High School.
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