Today is Pearl Harbor Day. We need to remember all those who lived through WWII and the contributions they made to our society today. Thank you.

Friday night was Blacksburg’s annual parade and Festival of Lights. What a success! Thanks to the Downtown Merchants who made this happen and to Blacksburg Parks and Rec. The parade was well attended, the weather perfect to start the season and the atmosphere was festive. Al Leighton, who has been on Council for over 30 years and his wife Fran were our Grand Marshals. If you see Al, be sure to say something to him as he finishes this term. His is certainly a remarkable record of Public Service.

It was the first chance we had to use Blacksburg Market Square Park – the new Farmer’s Market. I was excited about the opening but it was more impressive than even I imagined. If you have not been to the new market park, make the trip. It is worth it. This area will be used for more than the farmer’s market two days a week. It will be a gathering place for events downtown. As you stand in the middle of the park, slowly look around and you can begin to imagine the possibilities. Thanks to all those who made it possible.

Also, new this year, LED lights will illuminate the mature trees Downtown and contribute to significant energy savings.

The Sustainability and Environmental Division recently held a number of focus groups with nonprofit organizations, residential neighborhoods, and apartment complexes to identify how the Town can reduce green house gas emissions. On Thursday December 3rd from 7-9 pm, a public meeting was held at Blacksburg Transit, located at 2800 Commerce Street, to receive public comment on how best to develop a long term climate action plan. Included in these discussions was how best to spent a $186,900 federal grant to support local energy efficiency and conservation.

In January, the Town of Blacksburg will receive wayfinding signs in Downtown and at the entrance to Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center, the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Virginia Tech-Montgomery Executive Airport. The information provided on these signs will direct visitors to the Town’s many featured amenities and provide directions to nearby parking. Construction is anticipated beginning the second week of January. While every effort will be made to minimize disruption to vehicular and pedestrian traffic during this installation, please anticipate some delays.

The economy may be catching up with us here in Blacksburg. Staff have indicated that they have seen a noticeable decline in single family home construction this past month. We will keep a close eye on this trend and plan accordingly.

A meeting with local apartment managers was held this week to facilitate enacting the Apartment Recycling Ordinance for the Town of Blacksburg. This ordinance requires all apartment and condominiums to provide a recycling program for their tenants and owners. The Town will look at various options for these apartments to come into compliance with the ordinance as part of the Town’s goals for environmental sustainability.

Have a good week.