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STRATEGIC PLANNING REPORT - 2020 PRIORITIES

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SUMMARY In May, 2020, South Boston, Virginia held a Town Council election. With a mix of new and returning Council Members, the body hired Complete Community Economies, LLC to facilitate a strategic priorities planning process. The process began with individual, one-on-one phone conversations between each Councilmember and Jeff Sadler, lead consultant of Complete Community Economies. This was done to ensure that each member was able to freely discuss their priorities, successes and concerns. These responses were anonymized and compiled. On August 13, Council convened to review the responses. Jeff Sadler and Natalie Hodge facilitated the session and elicited deeper responses to the issues discussed. Notably, there was general consensus about the most important items. Detail was added and compiled. Natalie and Jeff then sorted the information and met with Council again on August 27. At this meeting, the Complete Community Economies team reported the findings of the previous meetings and Council clarified and corrected the items and facilitated further discussion in order to create a common understanding of the results. The following report lists the priorities as discussed and agreed upon by the South Boston Town Council.

South Boston Town Council Strategic Planning Report 2020 PRIORITIES
Strategic Checklist
GOAL: REINVENT RIVERDALE AS A GATEWAY PARK
o Develop a project timeline o Install boat landing o Research floodplain uses and construction strategies
o Design natural park with trails
o Design gateway signage, sidewalks and streetlights that connect the corridor to downtown
o Negotiate with commercial property owners to discuss buyouts and location transition
s o Identify funding sources o Build natural park & trails
o Install signage, sidewalks and lighting
GOAL: REMOVE AND REDEVELOP BLIGHTED AND DERELICT BUILDINGS
o Strengthen property maintenance ordinances to ensure regulations and consequences for violations are fair/current
o Consider the need for a part-time, or contractor building inspector
o Identify/inventory all blighted derelict buildings, ranked by priority
o Review building tax records to understand which property owners are current with taxes
o Create streamlined process for accepting properties (options below)
o Back Tax Forgiveness Program
o Housing Redevelopment Authority
o Land Bank
o Create partnerships for infill development (options below)
o Habitat for Humanity o Homestead program
o Southside housing partners
o Notify all blighted/derelict building owners of their building’s status
o Set demolition funding goals
o Begin site clearance
GOAL: REVITALIZE DOWNTOWN/REDEVELOP RANDOLPH HOTEL
o Close deal for John Randolph with a hotel developer
o Complete a downtown parking study to develop a comprehensive understanding of current and future parking needs for the district
o Inventory buildings as to vacancy and level of repair (Virginia Main Street may have resources to help with building repair evaluation)
o Communicate potential building renovation needs to current property owners and provide town incentives and support for those who agree to make improvements
o Identify upper-story housing opportunities and advocate for more residential in downtown
o Identify all vacant spaces and continue to work collaboratively with DDSB on business recruitment plans
o Evaluate the “pedestrian friendliness of downtown and take steps to increase pedestrian safety and comfort o Celebrate steps in the success to highlight that Downtown South Boston is a place for investment
o Open hotel
GOAL: IMPROVE WESTSIDE/WESTEND SERVICES
o Re-engage mobile home park owners in a property sale negotiation and identify funding
o Assist with relocation of current mobile home residents
o Design and identify funding for playground/park area
o Identify funding sources for area improvement such as additional lighting, sidewalks, community facilities
o Highlight transformation activities on the town website and through social and traditional media outlets
GOAL: CREATE A SUCCESSION/CONTINGENCY PLANNING
o Town Manager and Town Clerk identify all tasks they currently handle
o Conduct personnel assessments to determine where there are opportunity gaps among staff
o Create an inventory of duties currently not directly assigned to any staff members
o Create a “wish list” of staff positions currently not present in town administration along with budget to fund and fill
o Identify funding, recruit and fill the new positions
o Identify and fund training opportunities for new supervisors
GOAL: MISCELLANOUS
o Housing needs study to identify what type of housing is needed for the future – Virginia Housing Authority
o Improve community communications thru website, public information avenues, livestreaming