Establish a Agricultural Economy Committee to develop support for a Farmer's Market, which may include a coordinated framework of community-specific farmer's markets, and for a Cannery, for residents to market local ag products. The Committee also would conduct outreach with ag-oriented organizations (such as Appalachian Sustaainable Development).
Coordinate with the Farm Bureau to provide a support network for traditional ag, roots ag, ag/green tourism and specialized ag (such as raising fish, vineyards, growing organic vegetables or using hydroponic, aquaculture and aquaponic technology, exotic and other boutique farming), develop an ag education and mentoring program so that farms can be transferred and new farmers recruited and mentored and develop programs to promote gardening, food systems, and other sustainability seminars.
Coordinate with State and Federal agencies and other funding partners to promote agriculture economic development, including U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Virginia Cooperative Extension (such as for the Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative).
Create an inventory of agricultural lands and conduct a land suitability analysis to identify agricultural potential.
Coordinate with local communities to promote the development of agricultural products and markets, including the development of farmers markets, buy-local campaigns, and a local products website to market and distribute fresh goods.
Develop and implement a strategic Agricultural Economic Development Plan and work program.
Expand infrastructure to support tourism, including an assessment of current infrastructure and amenities and identify priorities based on a countywide perspective and fiscal impact analysis.
Establish an Arts, Culture, Tourism and Entertainment Committee, with representation including regional assets, such as the Crooked Road, the Heartwood Center, Spearhead Trails, ‘Round the Mountain and the Clinch River Valley Initiative, to coordinate local efforts and schedule with regional events and encourage and support local participation in regional events. Other committee tasks may include community beautification efforts, outdoor murals, public art in public spaces and coordinating with and responding to entertainment or cultural opporrunities in the region (films, music, fine arts, sporting events, etc).
Establish a Technology Committee to encourage and support local technology businesses and conduct technology-oriented events, including tech industry recruitment, mentoring and support and tech-related educational and entertainment activities (for example, drone training, alternative uses and races), which also appeals to the milennials.
Coordinate with State and Federal agencies and other funding partners to expand infrastructure and economic development.
Collaborate with adjacent counties to develop a regional economic development plan.
Develop a major emphasis on technology education and training through UVA-Wise and Empire State College.
Support and enhance the Crooked Road and Round the Mountain Trails experience, including clustering new development, ensuring necessary public facilities and services are available and adequate to support shopping, dining, and accommodations and showcase Appalachian heritage, and continue to participate in the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.
Create a network of business owners and local innovators that conduct topical seminars describing successful practices and case studies, allow participants to learn from real-world situations and business decision- making and peer-to-peer small business mentoring.
Establish and coordinate partnerships to identify, increase awareness, and promote current assets and homegrown experiences (a simpler way of life, front porch experience).
Establish standards and incentives to attract green energy development.
Establish standards to encourage development of hotels, motels and bed and breakfast inns.
Identify industrial sites and parks with adequate infrastructure and services.
Coordinate and sponsor periodic, topic-specific Breakfast Roudtables, Lunchtime Brownbags and Afterwork Networking Seminars with other economic development and education programs, entities and agencies (including Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Virginia Economic Developers Association, Virginia Coalfield Coalition, Appalachian Prosperity Project, Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Manufacturing Technology Center, the UVA & Southwest Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and others) to regularly sponsor and present training and other opportunities for local businesses, on a variety of topics identified by local businesses, including Using Community to Build Your Business Using the Internet (or Facebook, or social media) to Grow Your Business, Growing and Supporting Entrepreneurs, Healthy Business Practices, Building Local Partnerships, Sharing Resources and Lowering Costs, How to Succeed in Business After Retiring.
Conduct an annual Economic Summit, that celebrates the year’s hits, recognizes achievement, builds community and workforce confidence, establishes funding and programmatic strategies for the coming year, and is the kickoff for hands-on quarterly economic development opportunity summits.
Establish a Local Innovators Award and a Student Entrepeneurs Award that recognizes and broadcasts local success stories. Explore all other awards, such as Local Business of the Year or Woman or Minority Business, for a range of business types (tech, farm, innovative, Spirit of Appalachia, small, large, new start-up, etc) to inform and reinforce the importance of the Wise County market. and certifications that can be used to promote the County and communities, such as the Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) program.
Strengthen tourism-related partnerships, encouraging and strengthening positive regional affiliations and enhance communications through various media (i.e. websites, newsletters.) and maintain an online calendar of local events. Tasks include attending and actively participating or co-sponsoring regional tourism or economic development conferences.
Create a one-stop Economic Development Center to assist the business community in starting, locating and expanding in Wise County, including detailed information on business financing and incentive programs and make this information available to business prospects.
Conduct quarterly Opportunity and Workforce Summits to introduce possible new ventures and entrepreneurial talent, develop a set of ideas about ways to create a stronger local economy, closing the skills gap to meet the needs of employers and cultivating [young and experienced] local talent and also targets unemployed and underemployed workers about in-demand careers in targeted industries. These community forums can be used to facilitate the exchange of ideas and build networks including regional networking events with an educational component, young professional get-togethers, industry cluster discussions, Chief Executive Office (CXO) roundtables, peer-to-peer networking, and meet the experts (Got a burning question? Get it answered by local business experts). Also include a Regional Job Fair event as a way to highlight and publicize program and attract former and transitioning mine industry workers and their spouses.
Establish scholarships, with local industry, school and college participation, that provides intern and apprentice opportunities to local businesses, shadowing opportunities and work-based experiences for local students.
Develop an Economic Development Plan to identify strategies to recruit companies that use local labor and those that provide a living wage, develop a targeted recruitment campaign for specific types of employers and businesses, coordinating between not competing among, Wise County communities, coordinate with communities to prepare and implement a plan for the development of their adjacent corridors and gateways, and recruit place-neutral businesses, such as consulting, to capitalize on affordability and high quality of life place in Wise County.
Develop and implement a Branding and Marketing Plan for the County and communities, including brand establishment and niche market identification, with the Wise County ‘brand’ as the umbrella marketing campaign for local events, with limited (in-kind, staff support, website marketing, etc) sponsorship opportunities provided by the County, to raise awareness of the County’s business potential and workforce.
Develop and implement a strategic Tourism Plan and work program, including identify and increase awareness of recreation needs for the community, and the feasibility to create facilities (private versus public venture) to enhance tourism, establish a pro-tourism public relations effort (local, state and national outreach) and seek to position Wise County as the preferred destination in Southwest Virginia.
Develop a Plan to coordinate land use and economic development strategies with the Chamber, City of Wise and UVA-Wise to create a vibrant, but compatible, enterntainment district that supports the college.
Initiate a Business Retention and Expansion Program that works with existing businesses to grow and cultivate a supportive business ecosystem.
Establish a Visitor Information Program than ensures that destination directions are visible and discoverable and that information about local activities are available at multiple locations throughout the County.
Establish and distribute a directory of all State and regional economic development and related educational and advocacy programs, entities and agencies.
Conduct an employer survey to reveal workplace needs and assist with identifying targeted industries.
Establish a Workforce Development Committee to engage coal industry employers and community colleges to explore formal recognition or expanded credit towards credential completion for job-related experience and training, including a Regional Skills Academy geared towards supplying trained workers for technical and manufacturing occupations, expand the use of apprenticeships, on-the-job models, and accelerated boot camps and incorporate ‘soft-skills’ for non-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) training opportunities, and with business and industry input, identify skills shortages that could be met through shorter training and credentialing programs and developing and implementing specific fast-tracked training programs needed by targeted industries.
Establish an Education Committee, comprised in part of representatives from the School District and Colleges, to inform and build stakeholder and community support for a broad educational framework, including education affordability, job training, internships and apprenticeships, School District right of taxation, supporting economic development, post- use school facilities, and school revenue and debt projections.
Participate, with the School District and colleges, in long-range planning and funding for educational facilities and programs.
Coordinate with the school district and the SW Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation to offer and enhance cultural opportunities for local students.
Sponsor outreach workshops, roundtables, presentations and networking opportunities for local students, residents and business owners on a variety of topics, including Education Pathways to Success, Business Start- Up Basics, Preparing Students for the Workforce, and more.
Sponsor a fall and spring Student Leadership Conference, with local businesses to lead workshops, serve on panels and participate in mentoring sessions, topics may include College and Career Readiness, Best Foot Forward, Managing Student Debt, and, with business and industry input, targets high school students and their parents about careers that provide sustainable, long-term employment and opportunities in the region.
Develop a 5-year strategic planning and budgeting process, and provide an annual report detailing how tax money is spent in each voting district. Also include municipal budgeting.
Develop, fund and maintain a five-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP), and coordinate long-term capital improvement plans with service providers to efficiently provide and equitably fund infrastructure and services in a manner consistent with the needs of targeted industries and existing residents.
Establish a Wise County Intergovernmental Committee with representation from each participating community, to link funding consistent with County goals and strategies, explore all opportunities to consolidate services (parks, solid waste, public safety, administration, water/sewer) and leverage funding, and coordinate County and community CIP and budget investment. Empower the group to prioritize strategies, set a timeline, establish metrics and evaluation criteria and issue a call to action. Committee to be conduit for communities to share success stories and practices and cooperate not compete. Board of Supervisors to authorize formal presentations to Committee of County activities. Committee to make formal recommendations to Board of Supervisors regarding County CIP, budget and strategic plans. Committee role equally critical to County-to-community and community-to- community relationships.
Establish a Local Governance Committee to consider alternative citizen representation and public administration models, including expanding the Board of Supervisors to include one (1) at-large member, reconfiguring County Administration hierarchy to incorporate one (1) County Administrator and a formal Executive Committee of County Department Directors that makes recommendations to the Administrator, and CIP and budgeting allocations that are based on priority and need rather than electoral district.
Coordinate with the communities on the development of artisan studios and additional places for the display of art, such as public art, sculpture exhibitions, open air markets and community arts venues.
Conduct a series of topical retreats for County officials and staff to better understand roles of the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, County department core functions, processes and timelines, find opportunities to share and cross-train staff, and become a more efficient organization with decreasing resources. Topics: economic development and tourism, infrastructure planning (water, sewer, transportation, parks and trails), development and redevelopment, available local resources.
Conduct regular and recurring administrative meetings between Administration and Department Directors, and share information with officials and stakeholders. Each type of meeting is purpose-driven: weekly (current activities), monthly (progress on long-term department tasks), quarterly (assessing progress and performance based on annual projections and work program), annual (current year assessment, goal and strategy setting for the next year).
Conduct quarterly countywide meetings between functionally equivalent staff and departments (i.e., public safety, planning) and entities (i.e., Planning Commission, Legislative Body) to address and discuss issues of common concern.
Establish standards to award incentives that are outcome-oriented and consider leverage, return on investment and community payback and benefit.
Review and adjust County fees and rates on an annual basis, including fees for development review, solid waste and water/sewer connections.
Develop Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) with each community, to address community-specific needs and issues. Each IGA is unique to the community, preserves and recognizes independence of community and County, and is fair to both. Issues may include: revisiting community boundaries, unifying municipal and County functions, using local taxes and revenue streams to incentivize development and improve infrastructure.
Create and maintain a Wise County social media presence, such as a Facebook or Instagram, to provide opportunities for residents and visitors to post comments and pictures of Wise County assets, viewsheds, etc. Similar tasks also include notifying regional and statebusiness, tourism and economic development news sources (such as Virginia Business) of local events and news.
Showcase the region's history and heritage through events and festivals as well as personifying the culture of the region through arts, music, and culinary experiences.
Develop a countywide Solid Waste Management Plan to include assessment of transfer stations and public service provision.
Establish a Communication and Outreach Plan to effectively communicate with the public, create a central collection point for all news and other stories of interest, to be distributed to relevant stakeholders, and establish a Communication Director responsible for sharing and coordinating information with and among shareholders, including maintaining a reference directory of individuals and organziations participating in Plan implementation and support.
Coordinate with and support the Chamber's Forward Wise County program to support and expand the program to incorporate hands-on County and community governmental experiences, to include more opportunities for young adults to become vested in the County, and to include more opportunities for seniors to share their experiences, knowledge and recommendations. Focus on coordination efficiencies of a successful program - expansion rather than duplication, inclusion rather than competition - but also consider a rejuvenated Committee of 100.
Create more opportunities for staff level decision-making, within parameters established by the Development Regulations and County Code, to streamline process and interaction between the County and stakeholders (residents and businesses).
Update and maintain the Wise County website, consistent with the efforts of organizations in the region (such as Spearhead Trails and Heart of Appalachia) to provide a content rich source of information and present an image of a tech-saavy community.
Maintain adequate public safety vehicles and equipment (sheriff, fire) and replace as necessary.
Establish a Public Health Committee to recommend programs to foster collaboration between local health officials and County and community staff and elected officials, develop a list of best practices related to promoting healthy communities, and track community health information systematically and in ways appropriate for use in decisions about the built environment.
Coordinate with the school district to develop educational program events to reduce youth exposure to an interest in alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Host, sponsor, and/or organize Health Fairs, including annual countrywide health fairs, senior fairs, youth fitness programs, speakers, competitions, lectures, and/or workshops. Make it easier for non-profits and private/public institutions to host or participate in such events by reducing barriers such as administrative event paperwork and/or costs.
Promote government and school purchase of locally produced and/or organic food.
Collaborate with regional healthcare providers to ensure resource/outreach materials are available for residents.
Develop a Community Health Plan that creates a coordination and referral network among health care providers, criminal justice providers, employers and education facilities. Empower the group to prioritize strategies, set a timeline, establish metrics and evaluation criteria and issue a call to action. For the provision of whole community healthcare, including eldercare facilities, childcare for young and older children, and programs to combat teen and adult drug abuse, fighting obesity, pre- /post-natal care, smoking and vending machine restrictions, making it easier to make good choices.
Develop a Substance Abuse Prevention Plan, for drugs, alcohol and tobacco abuse, to support multi-sector collaboration and citizen involvement, and improve the assessment and implementation of a prevention activities, including workforce development and industry representatives.
Maintain updates to the Assessment Plan for Emergency Services and Emergency Plan, evaluate and prioritize options to mitigate inadequate emergency access and safety hazards to emergency response equipment or personnel, and identify funding and resources to provide training for career and volunteer personnel to meet or exceed local, state, and federal requirements.
Develop a Community Garden Program to identify and inventory potential community garden and urban farm sites on existing parks, public easements, right-of-ways, and schoolyards, and establish community gardens in appropriate locations.
Recruit more EMS volunteers in combination with paid Fire Response personnel.
Establish a Workforce and Families Housing Committee to make recommendations to coordinate and prioritize County, state and federal housing programs, incentives, loans and grants available for the production of workforce housing.
Adopt incentives in the development regulations to encourage affordable, workforce housing.
Conduct a review of existing regulations and policies to identify barriers to the development of accessory dwelling units, co-housing, and other non- traditional housing types.
Seek funding for a program for grant and loan assistance for first time homebuyers.
Coordinate the housing program with other social and economic development programs and provide regular training classes in the areas of budgeting and financial management, homeownership, parenting, health, and life skills to all affordable housing owners, tenants and participants.
Establish an Infrastructure Committee to assess the consolidation of multiple water and sewer systems into a unified system. Absent consolidation, define a template for the coordination among water and sewer districts. A key function of this committee will be to establish a thorough and complete understanding of each utility district's needs and capabilities (technical and financial).
Coordinate with communities to determine when it is fiscally appropriate, or required, to expand or extend service.
Coordinate the Infrastructure Committee and Intergovernmental Committee to propose fair and equitable levels of service and funding frameworks.
Coordinate with gas providers to expand service areas and ensure that economic development is adequately served.
Establish regulations to limit most development, including dense, small lot and commercial development to areas with adequate and available water and sewer service.
Establish regulations to prohibit development of subdivisions or small lots that lack necessary infrastructure.
Require development to pay for the costs of services beyond established service areas.
Prepare a Transportation Plan for the improvement of secondary roads in the county with special emphasis on designation as a scenic by-way, with construction of a bike lane on each shoulder, to establish a planned right- of-way map and to recommend and prioritize road improvement plans and projects.
Prepare a Technology Infrastructure Plan to invest in technology infrastructure (Wi-Fi, cell reception, GPS, etc) and prepare a plan for the construction of a fiber-optic network to business and industry and a wireless system for the remainder of the County.
Coordinate with DMME and coal land owners to identify coal lands that may be appropriate for post-coal uses, and prepare a report that identifies coal land use, coal type and short- and long-term viability of coal industry based on available resources.
Track and maintain data regarding well location and production to monitor water quantity and quality.
dopt revisions to the development regulations to protect commercial and industrial land from encroachment and incompatible uses.
Establish commercial signage standards.
Establish standards to require erosion and sedimentation control best management practices.
Establish standards to direct development away from stream valleys, floodways, sensitive waterways and other areas that are at high risk of water pollution or flooding.
Establish standards and outreach programs to protect watersheds from inappropriate development.
Establish standards for outdoor lighting to minimize light pollution.
Incorporate standards into the development regulations that reflect the history of the area and incentivize for historic accommodations, such as rustic lodges and mountain B&Bs.
Adopt sustainable development standards for new residential and non- residential development, and develop resource materials for developers and builders to promote green development practices.
Adopt development and design standards, to be included with new non- residential development and redevelopment and public investment.
Establish opportunities and standards for County and community planning commissions to provide formal input into development review proposals that have the potential to impact a community.
Establish a prioritized Code Enforcement Plan that identifies when and to what extent to enforce compliance with development and health regulations.
Develop a Litter Control Program that includes sponsoring community cleanup days, increasing trash and recycling collection services and enforcing litter laws.
Seek and maintain designations for National Scenic Byways and the Virginia Scenic Byways and Scenic Drives.
Develop and enhance outdoor experiences at parks, forests, recreation areas, nature areas, and preserves, develop and enhance accommodations related to outdoor experiences, and enhance and develop themed trails.
Establish a Parks and Trails Committee to recommend a Parks, Recreation and Trails Plan and explore opportunities to further develop and promote hunting and fishing experiences and supporting amenities and markets.
Develop a County Park with a variety of tourism-related facilities and activities (such as nature center, planetarium or historical and archeological resources).
Use the Parks Plan process to develop a Parks CIP, for the development of additional ATV trails, which have the potential to link scenic destinations and commercial centers, usable and interconnected sidewalks and paths (pedestrian and bicycle), greenbelt trails, parks and trails with exercise stations, lighted walking paths.
Coordinate with communities to improve local parks, such as Pound Lake and Norton Lake, consistent with a hierarchal countywide parks strategy.
Leverage nature and recreation opportunities prevalent in the area and coordinate with regional organizations (such as Southwest Virginia Climbing Coalition), communities, including outfitter locations in the downtown area where activity/equipment is visible to visitors, availability of shuttle service from town to outdoor areas for one-way biking, hiking, paddling trips, and connecting outdoor trails to town locations.
Coordinate the Parks Committee and the Intergovernmental Committee to to propose parks, recreation facilities and trails capital improvements, fair and equitable levels of service and leverage funding and budgeting.
Establish standards for walking paths and sidewalks in subdivision and improvement standards.
Encourage, develop, promote and protect hiking trails and supporting amenities in strategic locations.
Develop a Parks, Recreation and Trails Plan that identifies existing and planned park, recreation area and trail locations, a countywide plan for trails and bike routes, including right-of-way needs, and develop a series of trail maps.
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