By. Brent Wilson, Greene County Field Officer
Stephen Williams, Executive Director for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) came to Stanardsville to sell the Charlottesville – Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to the Greene County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 24th.
Every 10 years, in coordination with the national census, the MPO looks to reorganize/expand to include areas greater than 50,000 population, which now includes portions of Greene County.
Williams outlined the benefits of MPO membership:
- MPO looks to upgrade transportation ahead of demand
- MPO offers technical assistance to communities
- MPO works with VDOT and advocates for projects
- Offer demand model to review new/future traffic flows
- No cost to Greene
- Have input on Route 29 flowing from Albemarle into Greene
Several issues of concern were raised by the supervisors:
- Greene may not become a voting member for several years
- Federal funding has to go through MPO, if Greene becomes a member
- Requires staff time to prepare for and attend meetings
- If Greene elects to join, must remain for 10 years
- Requires a commitment to do the will of majority of MPO
- Give up working directly with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
Mr. Williams invited the Greene BOS to the September meeting of the MPO Policy Board which will be held somewhere in Greene County in order for the BOS to become more familiar with the organization.
The Greene County Board of Supervisors agreed to consider the proposal.
While it seems nice to be invited to the party, the fact that Greene most likely wouldn’t have a say in the decision making process is a strong strike against joining. Greene would also give up the ability to work directly with VDOT – strike two. A ten year commitment for the test drive – strike three!
The Free Enterprise Forum believes it is important, and good government dictates, that the BOS consider all the costs and benefits. On balance, we continue to believe Greene (and Fluvanna) should Say “No” to the MPO.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org
Photo Credit: Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission