Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling presented Hopewell Downtown Partnership (HDP) with a ceremonial check for $7,500 as part of a Downtown Improvement Grant awards ceremony held Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Beacon Theater in downtown Hopewell.
The grant funding is the result of a unique public/private partnership that matches $2,500 in VMS funds with $5,000 from CSX Corporation. This is the second year that CSX has collaborated with VMS to provide $7,500 Downtown Improvement Grants to designated VMS communities served by CSX Corporation rail lines. Grantees provide a local match of at least $2,500.
In partnership with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Planning, HDP plans to use the VMS/CSX grant funds to build a recreation and family-friendly environment on a park site along the Appomattox River.
The proximity of the Appomattox River is one of downtown Hopewell’s greatest assets. HDP is focusing on the river as a key economic restructuring element by encouraging more access to the river, eco-tourism, outdoor recreation activities and the creation of a business-friendly environment near the river that will help attract Hopewell residents and tourists to the downtown area.
The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has come a long way,” stated HDP Board President Jim Poe. “We are now really starting to build momentum in the downtown, and with the recent grants from CSX and Virginia Main Street, we will be able to make some noticeable differences.”
A check presentation ceremony in the Town of St. Paul was held on Aug. 9 to celebrate that community’s VMS/CSX grant award. St. Paul Tomorrow will use its grant funds and local matching funds to provide permanent signage in and around Market Square, which includes the recently completed Clinch River Farmers Market.