The week of September 20 – 25 was filled with exciting events and celebration of accomplishments.

On Monday, September 20 I took part in the ground breaking for Phase II of the Corporate Research Center. This portion of the CRC campus, once built out, will employ approximately 2,500 people. These are jobs that will focus on the new economy, many based on research that comes out of Virginia Tech. And, as these companies grow, there is the potential for them to expand into town, making room for even more start up companies at the CRC.

Also on Monday, the Mayor’s Task Force on Climate Change and Sustainability met to outline our next steps in making a difference in how our community uses our natural resources.

Then, Monday evening there was a ribbon cutting for the Y’s new solar/wind demonstration project. Not only will this help consumers see the benefits of solar/wind power, but will help the town look at ways to make our code more adaptable to new forms of local energy.

Wednesday night I took part in a Panel discussing community gardens. There we discussed the possibility of using and promoting vacant land for gardening and how that would fit into the town and our food supply.

Thursday has been written about here already, but the combination of unveiling the hybrid bus and celebrating our LEED certification at Blacksburg Motor sent a signal of our commitment, along with Virginia Tech and Blacksburg Transit, to making a difference in our energy use.

Also, this week saw Tonia Moxley’s article about Town Meal’s Tax being collected at Virginia Tech Sporting Events.

Other announcements:

Fall Clean Up – Fall clean up begins Monday, September 27th, in the Southeast Quadrant. Clean Up will continue the week of October 4 in the Northeast Quadrant, followed by the Northwest Quadrant the subsequent week, and the Southwest Quadrant the final week of October 18. All material needs to placed curbside by 7:00 a.m. on the Monday of the scheduled collection week. Materials will be collected separately by category: brush, appliances, tires, and miscellaneous household items. Town crews will only be visiting each household once for each category of material. Please make sure all material for collection is accessible by Town equipment from the public right of way. Items placed near mailboxes, water meters, fire hydrants, posts, or other obstacles that could be damaged by Town equipment during clean up will not be collected.

Alliance for Innovation Presentation– Elisabeth Vogel, Housing & Neighborhood Services Project Manager, was one of four panel members on a nationwide webinar sponsored by the Alliance for Innovation entitled “Engaging the Community to Encourage Local Economic Vitality.” The Alliance selected Blacksburg because of its Market Square Park project. Other panel members included the Executive Director of Local First Arizona, the Assistant City Manager for Decatur Georgia, and the Sustainability Manager for Alachua County Florida.

Christiansburg BT Routes and Fares Approved – On September 21st, the Christiansburg Town Council approved changes to routes, schedules and fares for their expanded transit service. The changes include:

· Earlier hours of operation are being added to The Explorer and Go Anywhere to support commuter service within Christiansburg.

* Saturday service for The Explorer is being eliminated.

· The hours of operation for the Shopper Express are being reduced and Monday through Thursday service discontinued.

· The Explorer and Shopper Express will connect at the Christiansburg Recreation Center.

· The fare for the Go Anywhere will change is being lowered to $0.50 per trip. This is consistent with fares across the system.

Blacksburg Transit has worked closely with the Town of Christiansburg to fine tune their bus service. Again, I congratulate the Christianburg Town Council for their leadership in providing public transit for their citizens.