Blacksburg approves Capital Improvement Program

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:19 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Blacksburg officials say this year’s Capital Improvement Program mirrors what the town’s residents want.

The CIP is done every year and extends over five years, showing how and when the town should make major investments.

“Blacksburg during the pandemic chose to tighten its belt and so we left positions open and we cut back where we could, and it puts us in a good place to plan for the future through our new CIP,” Blacksburg Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith said.

According to the plan, big ticket items such as a downtown parking garage and improvements to the Draper Road streetscape are in the works.

“Part of it will be something that many people have asked us for, which is outdoor dining as a permanent feature down there,” Hager-Smith said. “We’ll have wider sidewalks and there’ll be some improved culverts at our streams too.”

Blacksburg’s Parks and Recreation Department will also see a good chunk of funding.

“It’s a lot of money in a short period of time to get something done, which is really great,” Blacksburg’s Director of Parks and Recreation Dean Crane said. “You can really get a project started, jump started and finished.”

That includes creating new trails at Brush Mountain and improving playgrounds around town.

“The money doesn’t come available ‘til July 1, so between now and July is looking at the project, checking the orders, see who you can get to do contracting,” Crane said. “All the backwards work is done first.”

“Your budget is an expression of your community’s values, or it should be, and so the reason to be excited is because we are making our wishes and our aspirations manifest by planning around the things that people want,” Hager-Smith said.