Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Kicks Off Litter Clean-Up Campaign
The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors is kicking off a litter clean-up campaign, asking civic groups, churches, businesses and individuals to participate in a year-long Adopt-A-Spot Campaign to assist in keeping our county beautiful by picking up trash and litter.
A county wide clean-up on Saturday, April 10, 2021, will kick off the campaign. Supervisors will be giving out bags, gloves, vests, etc. for use in pick up from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a. m. Sites are listed below:
|Ingles District||Snowville Ruritan, 4867 Lead Mine Road, Hiwassee
Walmart, 5225 Alexander Road, Dublin
|Cloyd District||Walmart, 7373 Peppers Ferry Boulevard, Fairlawn
NRV Fairgrounds, 5581 Fair Grounds Circle, Dublin
|Draper District||Draper Park, 3165 Old Greenbrier Road, Draper|
|Massie District||Magic Mart Plaza, 1000 Memorial Drive, Pulaski|
|Robinson District||Robinson Tract Community Center, 4443 Robinson Tract Road, Pulaski|
The process is simple. Bags of trash can be left on the road where picked up or put out with weekly trash collection for PSA to pick up. Participants are requested to post their picture along with trash bags and items picked up to social media on the Clean Community Facebook page, using the hashtag #cleancommunitycouncil, #cleanup, #pulaskicountyis to help us account for results. Results are also requested to be emailed to Cheryl Farris firstname.lastname@example.org to be counted. Certificates will be awarded to all who participate and turn in their contact information.
Groups and individuals will be offered the opportunity to Adopt-A-Spot and keep that spot, road, neighborhood, etc. clean for a year. Those who volunteer to participate will receive an Adopt-A-Spot sign to put up at their spot or area with their name or logo, and at the end of the year, will receive a Visa gift card. There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize of $750.00, $500.00, and $250.00 at the end of the campaign. Certificates of appreciation will also be presented to all individuals and/or groups that participate and submit contact information. If individuals are tracking their community service, they can submit hours to be listed on their personalized certificate. Adopt- A- Spots will be renewed on an annual basis.
Pulaski County will provide bags, gloves, and vests to groups for use at any time. These will be available along with the Adopt-A-Spot signs at the County Administration office. If you would like to participate but do not have a site in mind, Pulaski County will provide suggestions. Cheryl Farris will be the contact at email@example.com or (540) 980-7705 or Laura Walters firstname.lastname@example.org or (540) 230-6272.
Pulaski County Announces New Small Business Solutions Manager
Pulaski County is pleased to announce that Lydia Gilmer has been hired to serve as the County’s first Small Business Solutions Manager and officially started providing small business support on March 17, 2021. The County’s small business development focus will come at a valuable time when our local businesses are finding themselves in both a challenging yet opportunistic time due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. The department will be funded by the Economic Development Authority (EDA) through revenues generated from the EDA’s acquirement of the New River Valley Business Center which has now been renamed the Pulaski County Innovation Center.
The County’s small business development program is a partnership between the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and the EDA, and will focus on providing support to the County’s small businesses and local entrepreneurs looking for assistance to grow or start their business here. The rollout of the program coincided with the acquirement of the NRV Business Center, a mixed-use business incubator in Fairlawn, VA. The development and implementation of the new program is a strategic objective identified within the County’s Comprehensive Plan and will be a catalyst toward achieving the County’s 40-by-30 goal of having 40,000 people call Pulaski County home by the year 2030.
“The success of our small business development efforts depends largely upon putting the right person in place to lead this department and provide the support services, conductivity and creative solutions our growing small business community needs to survive and thrive in this unusually challenging yet opportunity rich environment” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “We are thrilled to bring Ms. Gilmer on board and share her talents with our business community and help stabilize and grow our local economy. This has been a missing ingredient in our recipe of making Pulaski County a next-level community, and I am pleased we have finally added small business solutions to our economic development repatoire.”
“I’m honored to be the first person to serve Pulaski County in this new position and look forward to supporting small businesses through all steps of the business journey” stated Lydia Gilmer. “I am also eager to work with the many distinct and promising businesses located within the Innovation Center and am eager to help advance that facility to its fullest potential.”
Lydia Gilmer has a B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech. She has previously served as a Small Business Solutions Specialist, a Graduate Research Assistant in Urban Affairs & Planning, and as an Intern for the Pulaski County EDA, Virginia Department of Social Services – Family Services, and as an Undergraduate Ambassador for Urban Affairs & Planning for Virginia Tech.
The new position will comprehensively assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with their individual and unique business needs and be a one-stop in connecting businesses with assistance or resources they may need. It will also serve to manage the day-to-day operations and needs of the Pulaski County Innovation Center.
Pulaski County Board of Equalization Meetings
The Pulaski County Board of Equalization has scheduled the following dates and times for citizens to appeal their reassessment. Appointments will be scheduled every 15 minutes to minimize waiting. The public notice was in the Patriot on Friday, March 5, 2021.
- March 15, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 – 5:00 p.m.
- March 16, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- March 18, 2021: 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- March 19, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (VIRTUAL ONLY)
- March 20, 2021: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Saturday)
- March 25, 2021: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 – 5:00 p.m.
The Board of Equalization members are Mike Boyer(Chairman), Connie Hedrick, Tom Lillard and Christopher Saufley (Alternate). To appear before the Board of Equalization, please call 540-994-2581, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The hearings will be held by the citizens’ choice of face-to-face, conference call, virtual (March 19) and/or written requests. Anyone scheduling a hearing face-to-face will be required to wear a face covering and limited to no more than two (2) persons. Meetings of the Board to hear objections will be held at 52 W. Main Street, Suite 200, Pulaski VA 24301.
The hearings will be accessible to the public from Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/Pulaskicountyboe/live/
Pulaski County Announces the Launch of Its New Small Business Development Program
Pulaski County has officially launched a small business development program that will focus on providing assistance and support to the County’s small businesses and local entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business. The rollout of the program coincides with the acquirement of the NRV Business Center, a mixed-use business incubator in Fairlawn, VA. The County recently received ownership of the facility from the New River Valley Development Corporation and will now operate the facility and run its Small Business Solutions’ services from within the business center. The center will soon be officially renamed the ‘Pulaski County Innovation Center.’
“Small business development has been a priority of the EDA ever since we transitioned from an Industrial Development Authority in April of 2018, and broadened our focus to include small business and entrepreneurial support services, tourism and marketing, workforce development, community engagement, retail and commercial development, economic diversification and residential development,” stated Jon Wyatt, Chair of the EDA. “It is exciting to see the EDA’s business plan reaching its goals of supporting small businesses with professional services, having a new tourism department in place to market the County, and to be aggressively advancing many of the EDA’s other strategic targets during these challenging times.”
This endeavor is a partnership between the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and the Economic Development Authority. This new program is a strategic objective identified within the County’s recently adopted Comprehensive Plan and will serve to help attain the County’s 40-by-30 goal of having 40,000 people call Pulaski County home by the year 2030.
“It is vitalizing to see the Board of Supervisors and the EDA concentrate additional resources on assisting our small business community navigate and respond to today’s unique challenges as well as seize upon equally unique opportunities,” stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “Pulaski County bodes tremendous entrepreneurial and small business growth potential, and providing support to this sector will help further stabilize and diversify our local economy and make Pulaski County a more resilient and attractive place to both live and invest. This is yet another major step toward making Pulaski County a next-level community.”
The County will be hiring a new Small Business Solutions Manager to manage the Innovation Center and run its Small Business Solutions Center. The Pulaski County EDA will be funding the entirety of the new position from rental income revenues generated from within the newly acquired Innovation Center. The new position will be responsible for managing the overall operations of the Innovation Center and working directly with its tenants on both their business and office needs. The position will also comprehensively assist small businesses and entrepreneurs with their individual and unique business needs and be a one-stop in connecting businesses with whatever assistance or resources they may need.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses have helped to make Pulaski County the wonderful place it is today,” stated Michael Solomon, Economic Development Director. “I am pleased with the support from the Board of Supervisors and the EDA Board, their commitment will allow small businesses to succeed when they call Pulaski County home.”
For more information on the soon to be named ‘Pulaski County Innovation Center’, please visit visitpulaskiva.org
New River Valley Small Business Grant Launched
The Counties of Floyd, Giles, Pulaski, and Montgomery have jointly established a regional $1.6 million grant fund, known as the New River Valley Small Business Resiliency Grant to support the region’s small business recovery and resiliency efforts following the COVID19 outbreak. Funds for these grants has been provided by Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
Grants of up to $15,000 are being provided to eligible businesses within the region to offset business impacts. Each business must complete and submit a grant application attesting to information and guidelines.
More information and applications are available at visitpulaskiva.org
Pulaski County Announces New Director of Tourism
Pulaski County is pleased to announce that Peggy White has been hired to lead the County’s first Office of Tourism as its new Director starting January 4, 2021. The Office of Tourism will come at a time where tourism businesses are finding themselves in both a challenging yet opportunistic time due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The department will be funded primarily through lodging tax revenues collected from local hotels, motels and bed & breakfast as required by Virginia Code.
“We are excited to announce that Peggy White will be officially joining the Pulaski County Team and employing her experience and talents to take our tourism and community engagements to the next level for the benefit of both the County and our small business community”, stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator. “The time is now to dial up and dial in our focus on tourism, strategic marketing and robust quality of life programming that will bolster our county’s and our businesses’ standing and profitability in the marketplace.”
The Pulaski County Office of Tourism will officially open on January 4, 2021, and will be located at the Pulaski County Visitors Center. The new Director will be tasked with developing public interfaces, preparing tourism and visitor information, producing promotional materials, liaising with local businesses and media, budget management, and will represent the County in various markets. Most counties, cities and towns in Virginia have their own established tourism department dedicated to promoting their locality.
“I'm genuinely excited and ready to take on the challenge of creating the first ever Pulaski County Tourism Department”, Peggy White, Incoming Director of Tourism. “I want to continue to promote and showcase one of the most welcoming and beautiful counties in the state of Virginia and cannot wait to get started.”
Peggy White has a degree from Hollins University in Business and Economics. She comes to the County by way of the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, having served as its Executive Director since 2008, as well as serving as the Designated Marketing Official (DMO) for Tourism from 2008 to present. Peggy has also served the community as a Board Member to the Lewis-Gale Hospital, SWVA United Way, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Rotary Club of Pulaski, Pulaski Grow, Bike Virginia, People Inc., Pulaski Encouraging Progress Steering Committee and the Pulaski County Partners Coalition. Peggy was a recipient of the Golden Apple Award from the Pulaski County Public Schools, received the Wall Street Journal Award and an award from the Economic Honorary Society.
County Officials Extend Gratitude to Residents for Outstanding Participation in Regional Broadband Survey
On November 13th, Bland & Pulaski Counties announced a regional initiative to study broadband internet accessibility and capacity. This study is part of a larger three county project, which includes Montgomery County, in correlation with Appalachian Power and private internet service providers in the deployment of fiberoptic and other broadband infrastructure to unserved and under-served areas of the three localities. The survey of residents was the first step in the study, which has concluded with significant participation from residents, with 1,346 completed surveys (667 Bland / 679 Pulaski).
“We are excited to be working with our citizens, Appalachian Power, and with our neighboring counties on this project,” stated Adam Kidd, Chair of the Bland County Board of Supervisors. “This is a united initiative to improve connectivity in our communities that will have lasting positive impact into the future.” Residents of the two counties were asked to complete a survey to assist in obtaining information for the regional broadband study. The main goal of the study is to identify those areas of need in which a plan can be developed with Appalachian Power and internet service providers to develop the appropriate infrastructure to rectify broadband needs. The response rate of the surveys were 20% of the households in Bland County (667/3,356) and 4% of the households in Pulaski County (679/17,302). “We were hoping to have strong citizen participation with the surveys, so we were very pleased when we received such a high level of citizen response,” stated Joseph Guthrie, Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors. “The amount of completed surveys and the data they yielded will go a long way to understanding our need for broadband, and perhaps be the key to deploying services across our rural counties. At this time, we remain quite optimistic that we can advance this project, and we look forward to our continued work with Appalachian Power and our regional partners.”
The first step in this regional broadband initiative is the study of existing infrastructure and to determine the capacity of download and upload speeds available to residents and businesses. Montgomery County has already completed its comprehensive broadband study and Bland and Pulaski Counties are working together with the same consultants as Montgomery County, Thompson & Litton / Blue Ridge Advisory Services Group, to analyze the current broadband capacity. Now that the survey portion is completed, consultants will begin working with Appalachian Power over the next couple of months analyzing the data and developing potential network designs.
The project involves installing fiber optic cable on Appalachian Power’s utility poles, with the added benefit of providing a more robust communications platform for the company’s deployment of new electric meters and distribution automation (DA). The new smart meters and DA equipment improve service reliability for power customers. Space on Appalachian Power’s middle-mile fiber infrastructure is then leased to internet service providers. Appalachian Power’s pilot broadband projects are made possible by the 2018 Grid Security and Transformation Act, 2019 Broadband Pilot Program legislation.
Appalachian Power is currently developing a preliminary middle-mile fiber design. Following the broadband study of Bland and Pulaski Counties, Appalachian Power’s intention is to file an application seeking project approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission in the first half of 2021. The three-county project is projecting to serve approximately 15,000 unserved broadband customers. This pilot project will require approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission. State and federal grant funds may be available to assist the localities and internet service providers with the last-mile infrastructure buildout.
Public Informational Meeting
A Special Use Permit zoning application has been submitted for a proposed solar renewable energy generation project in Pulaski County, Virginia. The project area is approximately 2,697 acres on multiple parcels and located near the Town of Dublin. A voluntary informational meeting will be held from 7 to 9 PM, on December 1, 2020 at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 5414 Cougar Trail Road, Dublin, VA 24084. Masks and social distancing will be required for those who attend.
A virtual presentation will also be available from 7-9 PM on December 1st via zoom by using this link:
- Passcode: 845193
- Or via telephone: 1 301 715 8592
- Webinar ID: 942 4882 7151
- Passcode: 845193
The purpose of the meeting is to provide the public with information about the project and to allow an opportunity for the developers to answer questions and/or receive your input. Public Hearings for both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors will be held in January and those details will be available prior to those meetings. If you are an adjacent landowner to the project, you will receive a notice from the Planning Department. Questions can be directed to the Planning Office at 540-980-7877 and information is available at the website http://www.pulaskicounty.org/planning-zoning.html
Pulaski County Board of Supervisors to Again Increase Funding to Small Business Recovery Grants in Response to COVID-19
The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors will once again be allocating additional funding in the amount of $125,000.00, for a total amount of $750,000.00 to their Pulaski County Small Business Recovery Grant Program to further support 25 more local small businesses with recovering from the comprehensive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to assist them with expenses in response to COVID-19. This allocation will take the program’s maximum capacity to 150 - $5,000.00 grants.
The grants are easily applied for through a simple two-page application comprised of only nine questions and a written summary of how your business has been impacted by COVID-19. Approved expenses that have occurred after March 1, 2020, and before December 30, 2020, are items such as: rent/mortgage, payroll, employee benefits, reopening costs, utilities, marketing, vendor payments, equipment purchases, personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies and new software. A W-9 must be completed and attached to all applications.
County of Pulaski is administering this program. Forms can be downloaded here. Applications will continue to be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. The entirety of the program is now funded at a level of $750,000.00 through a CARES Act appropriation to Pulaski County, Virginia. The Pulaski County Small Business Recovery Grant Program will now conclude on October 30, 2020, or at which time the funds for the program have been depleted.