City planners are encouraging officials to develop procedures of consideration for future conservation easements. The planning commission voted Wednesday to recommend City Council add policy to the city’s comprehensive plan. Conservation easements are binding agreements that place permanent restrictions on how a property can be used for the purpose of protecting its natural resources and open space. The proposal would establish criteria; a tool to guide growth and development, for future guidance on the topic.
The Lynchburg Community Market has received a grant to help with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. The 5-thousand dollars provided by the Virginia Department of Health will allow the community market to double dollar tokens for SNAP recipients. The market received a similar grant last year – worth 10-thousand dollars. Sources say that money lasted 32 weeks and increased SNAP spending at the market by almost 50 percent.
One Lynchburg company is looking to fill a lot of positions—and soon! Startek announced that it will be hiring 150 employees over the next 90 days. Hiring has begun and will continue over the next few months with the goal to hire the majority of positions in the next eight weeks. Requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent GED, ability to type at least 30 words per minute and prior customer service experience. To fill out an application click on ‘careers’ at www.startek.com
Altavista officials have passed a resolution asking the Department of Transportation to conduct a road study. Town Council on Tuesday approved a request for VDOT to study existing traffic patterns and volume on Lynch Mill Road in the area of Altavista Elementary School. Council wants the highway department to determine what can be done to improve traffic flow and safety. During a work session on transportation issues prior to the council meeting, sources say an expert suggested the study also look at how the nearby Clarion Road-Lynch Mill Road intersection affects traffic in the school area.
Centra will hold two town-hall-style meetings this month, to address the future of health care in Bedford. In July, Centra bought out Carilion Clinic, which had 50 percent ownership of Bedford Memorial Hospital. Now feedback is sought, through community forums that are planned for this Thursday and next…each meetings will begin 6pm; and both will be held at Liberty High School. According to the News & Advance, residents can ask questions; make suggestions –as well as visit the Centra One helicopter, which will be on site. Officials say that the company will use resident feedback from the meetings to develop a strategic plan for the hospital.
Babcock & Wilcox Company has rescinded its required layoff notice of 90 employees—but, the News & Advance, reports, even though the company’s formal layoff notice has been retracted, the employees still may be subject to cuts. The workers are the last group of more than 200 Central Virginia employees whose jobs were in jeopardy after the company announced earlier this year it was downsizing its Generation mPower segment. According to the article, employment is entangled in negotiations with the Department of Energy since the company’s downsizing announcement in April; B&W slowed the segment’s pace, with annual spending decreasing by more than half by July 1.
Voters in the fourth precinct of Lynchburg’s Ward III will have a new polling place by Election Day. Lynchburg City Council voted Tuesday to approve permanently relocating the voting location from Heritage Elementary School on Leesville Road to First Church of the Nazarene on Wards Ferry Road. The city’s Electoral Board recommended the change, citing the lack of parking at the original location. Notices will be mailed to the nearly 19-hundred voters in that precinct.
Work is about to begin on a new housing community in Bedford. Sources say developers plan to break ground this week on The Villas at Oakwood. A few neighbors in a nearby subdivision opposed the project when it was first announced nine years ago. The developer believes the project will be a positive addition to Bedford. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday at noon. The first phase of the project should be finished next year.
Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline made their position clear Tuesday night. A board of supervisors meeting was the first opportunity for Nelson County residents to hear directly from Dominion Resources. WDBJ-7 reports, representatives shared details about their proposed “Southeast Reliability Project,” a 550-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina. Dominion officials say they’ve made no final decisions about whether to build the pipeline, and the project still needs federal approval. The company says it will share more information and host several open houses about the project before construction begins.
Funding will be restored for Lynchburg’s College Hill Community Center and Jefferson Park Center. Funding was eliminated in the current budget for the two community centers; but Council voted Tuesday to approve a transfer from the city’s contingency fund to cover nearly $140,000 in staffing for the centers. The measure was supported by city staff, who said approving the funding would provide resources to keep consistent programming. The city’s nine community centers are managed by the parks and recreation department.