Editor’s note: Montross Town Council has authorized agreement, update coming soon
Revitalization effort may produce big results
Coming into the week, the Montross Revitalization Team was a decision away from having their dreams come true for their hometown. All that remains is for the Montross Town Council to approve the plans.
On March 20, the Montross Revitalization Plan meet with representatives of the Northern Neck Planning Commission to discuss the next set of
steps for the long awaited project.
“I know everybody has been waiting for this, but it looks like we are here now,” said commission executive director Jerry Davis.
The director said the project was derailed a bit once the department of historical resources found out. He explained that 10 years ago an environmental review was taken to ensure there would not be any negative impact on any historical landmarks in Westmoreland County. In the review, it was noticed that some of the town’s buildings have potential historical value to them. Council, as part of its vote, must enter into programmatic agreement that they understand the terms before the project can begin.
Providing council makes the decision to sign the agreement, the town will be given a $530,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community to help with such areas as the facade improvements, designs, pedestrian signs and lighting.
“It’s important to bring life into the Town of Montross…that’s what it is all about,” said Rhys Weakley. “I think this is the way to get us to that endpoint to draw more businesses and many people to our downtown area.”
Weakley, who is owner of Northern Neck Building Supply, said he has a vested interest in the project. Not only does his wife Nancy and her family own property downtown, but he also is a partner in the ownership of the Inn at Montross.
Another stakeholder in the decision is also the Westmoreland Museum.
“We at the museum are looking forward to the implementation of the Revitalization project for Montross,” said President Susan Ripol, of the museum’s board of directors. “There are some lovely old buildings in the area which could possibly benefit from this. We are definitely hoping to apply for some assistance to help with the ongoing renovations of the Wakefield Building.”
“Everybody should be ready to get going,” Davis said. The recommended architecture firm to begin the designs is Herlong Associates in Fredericksburg.