With Thornton at helm, CVTA sets foundation to boost transportation in region

The Central Virginia Transportation Authority has begun laying the foundation for a new era of transportation planning in Henrico County and throughout the region. 

The authority, established by the 2020 General Assembly to increase investments in transportation projects and services, held its second meeting Friday at Henrico’s Training Center. Some members participated virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

With Henrico Supervisor Frank J. Thornton serving as chairman, the CVTA took a series of administrative steps to prepare it to manage new funding from higher sales and fuel taxes in the region. 

Among its actions, the CVTA scheduled a Dec. 4 public hearing on a proposed $500,000 administrative and operating budget for fiscal 2020-21 and authorized a request for proposals for insurance services. Officials continue to work on revenue projections as well as various operating agreements and procedures.  

Thornton, who represents Henrico’s Fairfield District, credited Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-70th, and other legislators who carried the bill that created the authority. He also thanked CVTA colleagues for bringing such care to the effort. 

“What we’re doing is trying to lay the foundation which will last,” he said. “We won’t rush it; we want to do it right … [because] the foundation that we lay, it will supersede us.” 

The CVTA will manage funds generated regionally from a 0.7% sales and use tax and a wholesale gas tax of 7.6 cents per gallon of gasoline and of 7.7 cents per gallon of diesel fuel.  

The authority will receive the funds from the Virginia Department of Transportation; PlanRVA is providing interim staff support. The authority is comprised of the municipalities of Planning District 15: the town of Ashland, the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan and the city of Richmond. Voting is weighted by population.  

The authority also includes one voting member from the House of Delegates, the state Senate and the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Representatives of VDOT, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority and GRTC serve as nonvoting members. 

Of the funds received by the authority, 50% will be disbursed to the municipalities for local transportation projects, 35% will be dedicated for regional projects and 15% will support transit services.  

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