The Town Mayor didn’t do a cartwheel of joy when the good news for his community came out. Yet when the check comes for over $500,000 to help revitalize downtown Montross, he’ll definitely show his excitement.
“I am glad to see the agreements signed and on their way,” said Montross Mayor David O’Dell. “We’ll smile when the project comes to completion.”
On March 26, the Montross Town Council authorized the Mayor to approve all agreements to begin revitalizing the downtown area. Along with this authorization two committees were formed focusing on the loan and façade improvements.
On March 20, the Montross Revitalization Committee meets with representatives of the Northern Neck Planning Commission to discuss the next set of steps for the long awaited project.
This came after the project was derailed a bit to meet the demands of the department of historical resources. As a result, the town had to enter into a programmatic agreement to ensure there would not be any negative impact on any potential historical landmarks in Westmoreland County.
As a result of the town council authorizing the mayor to sign the agreements, the town is expected to receive 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 exciting to see this thing move forward,” said councilmember Joseph King.
Executive Director Jerry Davis, of the Northern Neck Planning Commission, said hopefully work will begin this summer. Property owners will also have an opportunity to apply for the forgivable revolving loan, Davis said, adding that helps owners financially with façade improvements.
“In May, the design work will begin with the pedestrian crossings and other design work that has to be done,” said Davis. “Now that this process was done tonight, the project will get underway finally.”
Town manager Brenda Reamy sent an email detailing the project has been ongoing since in 2007.
“I think we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Reamy. “In 2007 we started down this time line. It will almost be six before we get started, so we’re really excited.”
Revitalizing the town has been a long awaited project as noted in the Westmoreland News archives in 1988 when such items as lights were placed at the courthouse and town hall.
The recommended architecture firm to begin the designs is Herlong Associates in Fredericksburg.