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Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission Newsletter
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June 2017 RRRC Newsletter
Meetings this Month
 

June 13th
Foothills Housing Network
RRRC Board Room

June 21st
Goose Creek TMDL Public Meeting
Wakefield School, The Plains

June 28th
Regional Commission
RRRC Board Room

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RRRC on Facebook
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RRRegion.org
Regional Commission Announces Purely Piedmont Local Food Brand
The Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission recently unveiled a new brand name and logo to promote the region’s locally-grown food and beverages.  The Purely Piedmont brand will be used in a regional marketing campaign being funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. 
 
This winter, the Commission launched a local foods branding study for the region with funding from the PATH Foundation. Following stakeholder interviews, a consumer survey and public input sessions, the Region’s Food Policy Council unanimously voted to approve the Purely Piedmont brand name. 

Feedback indicated that consumers strongly value knowing where their food comes from, with 75% of survey respondents stating it would make them much more likely to buy local food. The chosen name is intended to provide that knowledge and evoke the fresh and wholesome qualities survey respondents associated with the region’s locally-grown food.

Initially, the brand will cover foods produced within the Commission’s jurisdictions—Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock Counties—with the opportunity for other counties in the Northern Piedmont of Virginia to participate in the future. The potential also exists for development of a regional label program similar to the state’s Virginia Grown program.  

This effort is part of the Commission’s on-going implementation of its 2015 Regional Farm and Food Plan.  Additional information on the regional marketing campaign can be found at www.rrregion.org/foodsystem.html or by contacting Michelle Edwards at 540-829-7450.
 
FAMS One-Call Center Ribbon Cutting & Promotional Video
The Foothills Area Mobility System (FAMS) One-Call Center held its official opening, complete with ribbon-cutting, on March 30th. The One-Call Center is the region's one-stop information source for human services transportation options, including transit schedules, volunteer transportation, and also offers travel-training assistance to citizens in the Rappahannock-Rapidan region. FAMS and the One-Call Center are a direct result of a partnership between the Regional Commission, Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services, Virginia Regional Transit, and numerous other regional partners. The collaboration continues to partner to implement recommendations from the Coordinated Human Services Mobility Plan, first developed in 2008.

In follow-up to the official opening, Culpeper Media Network developed a promotional video highlighting the FAMS One-Call Center, which can be seen here or on YouTube.
Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Needs Your Input!
Working with a steering committee made up area emergency managers, local planners and administrators, the Regional Commission has begun the five-year update to the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  A kickoff meeting to review the existing Hazard Mitigation plan and outline the update process timeline and responsibilities was previously held, with materials available at http://www.rrregion.org/mitigation.html.  

Now, we are seeking your input on how hazard mitigation has affected you or your property, or may affect you in the future.  A short survey is now open, and available to all residents and business owners in the region in English and Spanish. The surveys can be accessed at:

•    English:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/regionalhazard
•    Español:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/disastros

Information on future steering committee and public outreach meetings related to the Hazard Mitigation plan update will be posted to the RRRC website.
RRRC Welcomes New Planner to the Region
The Regional Commission is pleased to welcome Mr. Joe Costello to the Rappahannock-Rapidan region.  Mr. Costello joined the Regional Commission as a Regional Planner on May 30th and will focus on a number of activities, including rural transportation projects and hazard mitigation planning.  Mr. Costello is a recent graduate of the Master in Urban and Regional Planning program at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he took part in the Wilder Graduate Scholar Fellowship program in partnership with the Virginia Department of Social Services for two years.  He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Christopher Newport University.  

Joe can be reached at jcostello@rrregion.org or at (540) 829-7450 x14.
Foothills Housing Network Crafts Strategic Plan for Homelessness Response
The Regional Commission currently serves as lead agency for the Foothills Housing Network, which is a collaborative regional Continuum of Care partnership working to prevent and end homelessness in the region.  The Commission has served in this role since 2009 and facilitates the efforts of homeless services providers in the region to coordinate responses and remain up to date on shifting requirements and priorities at the federal and state level.

Recently, FHN completed a critical step in positioning the collaboration for continued success via a strategic planning effort involving FHN partners, stakeholders, and clients.  The strategic planning process included a Leadership subcommittee focused on organizational governance and structure, a Homeless Systems subcommittee focused on data and analysis, and a Housing subcommittee focused on identifying housing options for FHN programs. An action plan from each subcommittee was created to identify short-term and long-term actions to be taken to ensure that FHN is positioned and structured to meet the needs of its clients, partner organizations, and funding partners moving forward. Questions about the Foothills Housing Network and the Regional Commission's role can be directed to Cathy Zielinski at cmzielinski@rrregion.org or (540) 829-7450.
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