skip to Main Content
Translate to:

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) 2013 Updated Project List

This updated project list for A-NPDC’s 2012-2017 CEDS is posted through December 31, 2013.  Please review and send additions or revisions to Susan Simon, Economic Development Coordinator at: [email protected]

Projects List

    1. Wallops Research Park
      1.   Accomack County funded infrastructure identified in the master plan, including: taxiway from the Wallops landing strip to the Wallops Research Park (WRP), new road, water and wastewater, and broadband. The Accomack County Board of Supervisors provided a $4 million match for infrastructure and deed restriction removal, and authorized submission of a $4 million Transportation Partnership Opportunity fund grant application to construct a taxiway connecting the NASA runway with Wallops Research Park.  The WRP is now implementing the detailed plans its partners prepared.
      2.  The Eastern Shore Community College Workforce Development program is establishing a presence in WRP, as well as a continuing education module for graduate studies for Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) employees. Looking for opportunities to offer an array of graduate-level studies from diverse sources.
      3.  In early 2011, the Accomack County Board of Supervisors asked for a report from the WRP Leadership Council (a service district authority under Virginia code) on the anchor tenant’s prospects, and a plan to move forward with at least partial infrastructure improvements. The report recommended park development to proceed as originally planned. Federal loans and grants will be sought to build the necessary infrastructure.
      4. A-NPDC’s Economic Development Committee wrote a letter to the Governor supporting NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility bid to be one of six Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) facilities nationwide capable of testing and deploying existing and future UAS technology, and UAS-based scientific instruments.
    2. Improve infrastructure
      1. Ports
        1. Deepen Cape Charles federal harbor and natural channel – Bayshore Concrete Products Corp., the town of Cape Charles, and Northampton County funded an economic impact study showing millions of revenue dollars would accrue to our region and state by deepening the federally-designated Cape Charles Harbor and natural channel.  Because only one user would benefit, the local sponsor is aggressively pursuing additional harbor users to warrant deepening from 18 to 23 feet.
      2. Energy
        1. A-NPDC hosted a Salisbury, MD private natural gas company’s presentation to local businesses and government stakeholders.  The company is exploring the possibility to build a pipeline down Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  A-NPDC also supports a Worcester County, Maryland company’s interest to extend natural gas to the Eastern Shore.
        2. Work with the local community college to plan special training for residents to get potential future jobs in the renewable energy field.
      3. Broadband – expand utilization of broadband infrastructure
        1. A-NPDC considered a study of residential users to determine level of service desired, price points, and to educate the public about the uses and benefits of high-speed broadband, but determined that a thorough survey was cost-prohibitive.  A-NPDC produced a broadband deployment report encouraging an increase in residential and commercial connectivity.  The Broadband Authority is conducting a rate study.
        2. Solicit proposals and private sector partnerships for additional services.
      4. Railroad  – Upgrade railroad infrastructure
        1. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation’s statewide six-year Rail Plan appropriated $1.1 million in improvements to the Eastern Shore rail system.  Under the State’s Rail Preservation Program for short-line railroads, the $1.1 million (70% state money and 30% match from the railroad) is spread over 6 years for tie replacement and track resurfacing on the mainline.  The railroad is working on the 1st year grant now, putting in ties as money allows.
        2. Continue to seek funding to conduct a feasibility study of passenger/ commuter service for the Shore.
        3. Bay Coast Railroad (BCR) consists of 68 miles of FRA track safety Class I and II mainline, and a 26-mile car float (ferry) operation from Cape Charles, on the Delmarva Peninsula, across Chesapeake Bay to Little Creek on the mainland.  This car float operation, in continuous service since April 1885, is one of only two remaining in the Eastern U.S., and is the longest water route in the country.  Today, a tug boat moves the 25-car capacity floats.  BCR interchanges with NS; the Norfolk & Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad in Norfolk; the NS in Pocomoke City, Maryland; and with rail yards in Cape Charles and Little Creek.
        4. BCRY restored a 1913 Inter-urban railcar that operates round trip dining excursions on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, using the same freight service rail lines that Bay Coast railroad operates.  Most weekends throughout the year, BCRY provides lunch and dinner excursions originating in and returning to Cape Charles, and makes special excursions when reserved in advance for private charter.
      5. Wastewater
        1. Both Northampton and Accomack Counties are seeking funding to build wastewater collection and treatment systems for specific areas of need.
        2. In late 2012, Chincoteague enlisted a private company to provide sewer services to several downtown businesses. The Town’s Wastewater Advisory Committee (WAC) reported and made recommendations on how to proceed in their June 2013 study.  The Town Council and the WAC are exploring funding options.
    3. Agriculture/Aquaculture
      1. Research model and data from Chesapeake Bay TMDL – methods of data collection and results are suspect.
        1. Work with the Soil and Water Conservation District and the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission to set up a successful and inclusive communication process between the state, EPA, and the farming community.
      2. Conduct a survey of farmers to establish return on investment by comparing input costs to price increases for crops.
      3. Set a goal to have an Eastern Shore farmer appointed to the state’s Best Management Practices Committee in order to have representation from two of the most agriculturally-important counties in Virginia.  Robert Bloxom, Jr. (Parksley), owner of Egret Point Seafood was re-appointed to the Governor’s Aquaculture Advisory Board; Hillary Little (Nassawadox). President of Waterford Printing was reappointed to the Governor’s Board of Forestry.
      4. Conduct a drainage study for Northampton County with focus on how to capture more storm water for irrigation without harming the aquaculture industry which needs clean water flowing into creeks. The County is working with a Department of Environmental Quality specialist on agricultural compliance, and expects to pass a Stormwater Management Plan by July 2014.
      5. Promote the value of agriculture and aquaculture by holding special events to highlight it – maybe one crop at a time; organize an ES regional fair; support farm businesses with marketing, signage, partnerships; explore ways to involve 4-H. Compile statistics and the value to our economy and share with elected officials and other citizens.
      6. Expand school curriculums to include skills needed in farming the soil and the water such as fixing equipment and business management and finance, which are necessary to run a business today.  Let young people know that there are jobs available if they are trained for them.
      7. Protect water quality. Leverage our region’s unique ability to control upland runoff into ANY water body. Almost no other community has this advantage. It means we can protect the seaside by enforcing vegetative buffers and enacting zoning to protect water quality.
      8. The seaside barrier islands and channels moved drastically over the past 20 years.  A bathymetric survey and accurate marking of the channels would be very beneficial to watermen, recreational boaters, and aqua-culturists alike. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may be considering such a study for the seaside.
      9.  Landowner view-share and conflicts over aquaculture activity – apprise Virginia Shellfish Growers Association of problems and ask that it address this issue.
      10. Continue to look for innovations in agriculture and ways to diversify crops/methods; i.e., more organic production, Kosher, Community Supported Agriculture (subscription farming), and value-added products on an industrial as well as small scale so that crops can be processed locally.  Northampton County and the Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (VDACS) hosted an open house for interested parties that want to explore setting up a local canning or bakery facility that can be commercially certified for food products made from locally grown ingredients.  The event attracted more than 30 attendees interested in learning more or getting started.
    4. Revolving Loan Fund
      1. The Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission manages a $500,000 revolving loan fund for economic development purposes. Its first loan, $300,000 to Bay Coast Railroad, repaired the 25-railcar barge float that crosses the 26-mile wide Chesapeake Bay from Little Creek in Norfolk to Cape Charles.  This loan matched a Commonwealth $700,000 gift. The repairs were made in 2010, and it was back in operation in November.  A-NPDC’s second loan was made to a Northampton County telecommunication start-up business.
      2. Create a venture capital fund for start-ups by entrepreneurs and/or technology transfer opportunities.
    5. Federal Designations
      1.  Continue to look for a way to get the federal thresholds changed to reinstate the HUBZone designation for our region.
      2.  Activate more of the Foreign Trade Zone areas, especially in Wallops Research Park and for the Accomack Airport Industrial Park.  Engage the Virginia Port Authority as a partner to get this accomplished.
    1. Begin efforts to submit a project grant request to EDA to build an updated facility that expands the Eastern Shore Community College’s ability to train students for future jobs.
    2. Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) received $198,248 a National Science Foundation grant to support the college’s “Linking Employers and Academic Needs” (LEAN) project.  The college is developing internship pathways to prepare students for entry-level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, or to complete certificates or AAS degrees in STEM-related fields.  In spring 2013, four students were placed in internships at Wallops.  They gained valuable experience and one student received a job offer pending graduation.
    3. The Eastern Shore Community College (ESCC) is fostering on-site faculty professional development at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Navy Surface Combat System to enhance understanding of aerospace and defense industry education needs.
    4. Reapply to Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for funds to staff a full-time economic development organization for the Eastern Shore.
    5. Promote mentoring of school children, and develop mechanisms to boost adults/parents involvement in and support for the school systems.
    6. Create a central information hub about all of the Shore’s educational opportunities.
    7. Research the differences between our region’s training and that of Worcester County, Maryland schools as well as Delaware Tech.  ANPDC is helping the Eastern Shore Community College and community colleges from Maryland and Pennsylvania pursue a 2014 regional grant targeted at expanding training programs for unemployed workers, especially those affected by foreign trade through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program (TAACCTC).
    8. Public transit could contribute more to the prosperity of the Eastern Shore if it synchronized its routes to workplace shifts. Now, STAR Transit does not run after 6 pm or on weekends. This makes it impossible for many people to use it to get to and from their workplace. Commuter rail on the Eastern Shore could also be a great boon for getting around without a personal vehicle.  STAR Transit could provide transport from the railroad stations to major workplaces, shopping venues, and healthcare facilities.
    9. Look for applications for math skills to show students how they can use the math they learn in a practical way; i.e. titration or look for data that multiple groups collect and standardize it and put it on the Web as a teaching tool.
    10. Support for educational organizations:
      1. Lobby for increased Federal and State funding and for less unfunded      mandates.
      2. Develop business partnerships with the school divisions to create co-op opportunities for students to expose them to various industries on the Shore. This will educate children about job opportunities and how to prepare for them.
      3. Support local education foundations.
    1. Create new venues and become a destination:
      1. Develop an interpretive meteor center in Cape Charles.
      2. Expand the number of Historical Markers on the Eastern Shore and replace the broken ones; develop a list and map of all of them.
      3. A-NPDC is working with Virginia Coastal Zone Management to establish a series of camping accommodations along a seaside water trail that will connect with the historic Captain John Smith Trail and greatly expand the possibilities for kayaking tourism.
      4. In addition, A-NPDC is working to significantly increase economic development, tourism, quality of life for residents, and nature appreciation for visitors by collaborating with the Eastern Shore of Virginia Natural Wildlife Refuge and VDOT to extend an existing, but limited, 2.65 miles bike trail from the Refuge into Cape Charles.  A-NPDC applied for a feasibility study grant in November to the Department of Transportation to assess the 6 mile segment.
    2. Improve Route 13 with landscaping and better signage.
      1. Plant locally-grown crops such sunflowers or native plants and wildflowers in the median or alongside the highway to enhance pride in our area and save money.  Consider North Carolina’s and other states’ successful models.
      2. Use branding to improve quality and quantity of signage to direct travelers to venues and into towns, including bike/hike, paddling, and nature trail signs to encourage transiting visitors to take advantage of the region’s amenities and enjoy the bike, kayaking, and nature trails.
    3. Chincoteague Island
      1. Support efforts by all partners to work with Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (CNWR). Explore how best to advance the study, information exchange, and project resources for adaptive management practices to sustain the resiliency of this unique barrier island system including Assateague, Wallops, Assawoman, and Metompkin Islands in the face of dynamic coastal processes and climate change.  The Fish and Wildlife Service is due to complete its Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) in January 2014 that will help to coordinate and advance these organizations’ efforts.
      2.  The Chincoteague Museum renovation was completed but fundraising is on-going to continually update and showcase the Town’s cultural heritage.
      3. Continue efforts to extend and improve the bicycle trail connecting Accomack County and CNWR.
      4. Downtown Chincoteague’s Main Street and movie theater were revitalized with new sidewalks and street lights.  Landmark Plaza’s private owners await further improvements in the economy in order to update their shopping center.
      5. Work with Accomack County and VDOT to secure funding for gateway enhancements to Maddox Boulevard as noted in the Walkable and Livable Communities technical report “Healthy People, Healthy Places – Community Well-Being on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,” August 2012. In March 2013, the Town’s committee reviewed the Chincoteague Bicycle Plan’s priorities, modifying it to align with the Town Council’s request to VDOT’s Six Year Improvement Plan by establishing an urban system highway project to improve Maddox Boulevard for approximately 4,000 feet.  Recommendations consist of adding sidewalks, bicycle paths, and drainage improvements.
    4. Tourism Marketing/Projects
      1.  Northampton County continues its intensive tourism marketing campaign for the lower Eastern Shore “Cross the Bay for a Day, Better Yet, Decide to Stay.” The County’s targeted media outreach and awareness campaign focuses on the Hampton Roads region, and more specifically, on the Virginia Beach area and the military market to promote the region.  The program is a partnership of two government agencies, the local chamber of commerce, one non-profit and three business entities in cooperation with the Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission.
      2.  Unify tourism-related businesses in both counties for cooperative marketing ventures that promote the Eastern Shore.
      3. Clean up the roads.  Teach a “Beautification 101” class to kids in school, taking them out to clean up the roads, and encouraging them to teach their parents not to litter.
      4. Work together to develop a major cultural center and water recreation centers and amenities, such as providing fuel for boats already in the water.  A fuel facility planned for Oyster, VA has an investor and undergone a pre-installation review with the County’s Building Department.  In addition, Cape Charles Harbor now boasts a new mega-yacht center to provide fuel, repair, refit, chandleries services, and boat manufacturing.  The mega-yacht center is expected to boost the town’s economic development and use of its other services and  amenities.
      5. Promote increased collaboration in all sectors for the Tall Ships Initiative.
    1. Housing Development
      1. Several focus groups identified a need for affordable workforce housing (defined as no more than 30% of household income) for middle income workers such as teachers, first responders, and healthcare providers.  Our area has many expensive vacation or second homes, and many sub-standard units. To address a short supply of affordable, workforce housing, Northampton County rehabilitated the William Hughes multi-family facility, and Accomack County plans to build 21 new units. The real estate focus group attributed the lack of this housing type to restrictive zoning that doesn’t allow guest houses or multi-family units by right (in Northampton County). A proposed change in Northampton County’s zoning code will encourage affordable housing through the provision of smaller lot options and use of accessory structures for housing in buildings outside the primary dwelling.
    2. Leadership Development Initiative
      1. Seek new ways to actively engage local leaders, businesses in regional economic development efforts.
    3. Real Estate Industry
      1.  Increase collaboration between local government and the real estate industry, creating strong, strategic alliances between the two sectors.
        1. Create a webpage of available sites, state, and other incentives. (Enterprise Zone, Foreign Trade Zone, etc).
        2. Educate government leaders on the value of the real estate industry and how it advances economic development in our region.
          1. A-NPDC served on Northampton County’s committee to hire a new economic development director.
          2. Help decide about disposal or deferred maintenance of abandoned buildings, such as the Old Cape Charles High School.
          3. Demonstrate to the public sector how the real estate industry economically benefits the area through marketing to industrialists and others with the ability to bring jobs.
          4. Show how advertising dollars help the whole region, not just the real estate industry.
          5. Address the lack of affordable workforce housing on the Eastern Shore. Northampton County can begin by allowing guest houses and multi-family units.  Northampton expects to achieve this by Summer, 2014 with a change to its zoning code.
    4. Recreational Facilities
      1. Find funding to conduct a feasibility study for a Northampton County Aquatic Center.
    5. Healthcare
      1. Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital got approval from the state to move from Nassawadox to Onancock and broke ground in October.  Northampton County Supervisors want to keep an urgent care facility in Northampton County.
      2. Within five years, healthcare providers need to reduce the cost of care 30-40% in order to continue to serve the community. Healthcare providers strongly recommend convening a meeting of healthcare providers to identify issues and find ways to reduce costs, such as collaborating to buy supplies and services.
      3. Mentor grade school children about the many healthcare industry and family-wage job opportunities that will be available through proper training to meet the future need for nurses, pharmacists, therapists, etc., on the Eastern Shore.
      4. Prepare a message to encourage supervisors to think regionally, not by county,   and set politics aside from the provision of healthcare.
      5. A-NPDC helped the Healthy Communities organization secure a grant that awarded walking trail signs to six Eastern Shore towns to promote healthy lifestyles and economic development.  A-NPDC also worked with VDOT to waive the sign installation fees for the towns.
      6. A-NPDC serves on the Healthy Communities team to coordinate with schools, health care providers, the local YMCA, restaurants and other businesses in promoting healthy lifestyles for our region.  Healthy Communities designated numerous Healthy Options restaurants (indicated by a special logo) throughout the Shore that feature locally grown produce, locally caught seafood, and nutritiously prepared items on their menu.  Continue to encourage farm-to-school programs that serve local foods in schools and other institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes, espousing with Healthy Communities and other like-minded organizations, the importance of diet and exercise to good health.
      7. Market the availability of, and promote under-utilized services such as home health care, oral health, and preventative medicine.
      8. Address the shortage of housing for healthcare workers.
      9. Use available influence to change how federal programs determine an area’s eligibility for federal grants and loans.  Most are based on median household or per capita income.  However, the poverty index would be a more accurate measure to apply, because of a large influx of wealthy people moving to the Eastern Shore.  Their incomes skew median household incomes higher, without changing the poverty level.
    1. Explore synergies between R&D entities in the region such as the Marine Sciences Consortium, College of William and Mary Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Virginia Long-Term Ecological Research Project, Old Dominion University, NASA, Navy, NOAA, Coast Guard, and Department of Defense contractors.
    2. Conservation could be a growth industry because of the scientific research conducted here (see A above), training for marine research, and restocking the oceans with wild fish species (by aquaculture).  
Back To Top