Last night at the monthly meeting of the Greater Wards Corner Partnership, the membership made it clear their number one priority was to set in motion a plan to elect to City Council in 2010 an advocate for the Greater Wards Corner Partnership Area. Other goals agreed to be achieved in 2008-2009 were to assure that Depaul Hospital maintains an acceptable presence in its present location, the second phase of Norfolk’s Light Rail includes a rail station for Wards Corner, after-school children programs be expanded in our schools and religious institutions and the creation of a Community Development Corporation to work with the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority in applying for grants for the Denby Park, Monticello Village, Oakdale Farm Neighborhoods.
The Greater Wards Corner Partnership Executive Committee will be recommending the following goals for the 2008-2009 fiscal year at our June 26th Partnership meeting :
- Create a Community Development Corporation (CDC) in partnership with Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
- Ensure the continuation of medical services at De Paul Hospital.
- Support a Light Rail Station at Wards Corner
- Assist in partnering with schools, churches, businesses and civic leagues to improve programs for our children.
The Partnership will meet this Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center (201 E. Little Creek Road, next to Kroger) to discuss and vote on these and any additional goals that may be brought from the membership.
Norfolk City Councilman Randy Wright is asking assistant City Manager Nancy Johnson for a joint meeting of the Mayors’ Wards Corner Task Force and Ocean View Task Force at the new Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library in Ocean View on June 26th. Councilman Wright will make his first presentation on the “Tide” to Ocean View. Look for times in a future post. Any route to Ocean View should include a rail station in Wards Corner. It is important that all concerned citizens attend this meeting.
Several years ago, H.R.T. came to a meeting of the Greater Wards Corner Partnership asking for our support of light rail for Norfolk. We were promised that the second leg of light rail would run through the Wards Corner Business District with a light rail station at the Wards Corner H.R.T. Bus Transfer Station. The Partnership gave its overwhelming support for the light rail project.
For light rail ridership to be successful, lateral bus lines must be near a rail station. Wards Corner would be a natural. Now, we hear that the second leg of light rail will take a different route to the Naval Base; most likely from downtown, past ODU along a Hampton Boulevard route to the Naval Base.
Today, Pilot Online reports that the downtown section of the light rail project is $14.7 million over budget. There is only $29 million in contingency dollars for these kind of events. The downtown section has already eaten up half of the contingency money. Councilman Randy Wright is Council’s representave to H.R.T. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are concerned about this overage.