U.S. House Passes Spanberger’s Legislation to Provide $820,000 for Greene County Recreation, Public Safety Improvements

Mar 06, 2024
Local Issues
Press

The House-Passed Funding Would Help Update Greene County Community Park’s Facilities & Allow the Greene County Sheriff’s Office to Purchase a Virtual Reality Training System

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s legislation that would provide $820,000 for community-focused projects in Greene County — including improvements to Greene County Community Park and a new virtual reality training system for the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

This investment — which Spanberger secured as part of a House-passed fiscal year (FY)2024 appropriations package — includes $750,000 to make safety, security, and access improvements to Greene County Community Park. These improvements would include building an overflow parking lot, paving the main parking lot, lighting both parking lots, bringing public water to the park’s concession stand and restroom building, winterizing the concession stand and restroom building for year-round access, installing a programmable electronic gate at the entrance, and installing lighting at the playground.

“Greene County Parks and Recreation is proud to be the recipient of the Community Project Funding for improvements at the Greene County Community Park. The park serves as a place for the community to come together, its home to several of our sports leagues, and is utilized by various public, private, and civic groups throughout Greene,” said Justin L. Bullock, MA, CPRP, Director, Greene County Parks and Recreation. “Usage at the park and its services has grown exponentially in the past few years — I’m excited to continue investing in the infrastructure to support this growth. Not only will this enhance the safety, security, and overall experience as visitors utilize the park; but this support will help position parks and recreation to continue working toward phases outlined in the park master plan. Many thanks to Greene County staff and Rep. Spanberger’s office for their support to enhance the park.”

Spanberger also secured $70,000 for the Greene County Sheriff’s Office to acquire a new virtual reality training system. The new system would provide deputies the ability to experience realistic simulations that increase proficiency in de-escalation and crisis intervention skills. This investment will improve safety for law enforcement and the community while reducing use-of-force incidents.

“We are very excited to receive this Virtual Reality Training System, as it will provide realistic scenarios that the deputies encounter on a day-to-day basis,” said Sheriff Steven S. Smith, Greene County Sheriff’s Office. “Some scenarios that they rarely respond to give them training in the best and safest ways to respond to them.”

“Virginians across our Commonwealth know and love Greene County for its remarkable natural beauty. I’m grateful to Greene County for recognizing ways we could work together to make Greene’s outdoor spaces safer and more accessible,” said Spanberger. “Thank you also to Sheriff Smith for working directly with my office to secure funding for comprehensive training simulation equipment. Local Virginia law enforcement officers respond to a variety of calls, and they deserve the best resources available to prepare, de-escalate each situation, and to keep themselves and their communities safe. Once again, I want to thank Greene County, Sheriff Smith, and all the local officials who worked on these projects for your commitment to making Greene County a safer, more connected place to live.”

Spanberger worked directly with Greene County to make sure the projects were included in this federal funding legislation. The FY2024 appropriations package now goes to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

BACKGROUND

For FY2024, the U.S. House of Representatives allowed for specific Community Project Funding requests — as it did in FY2023. Spanberger worked directly with community leaders in localities across Virginia’s Seventh District to gather community-focused requests for her submissions. Click here for the full list of her submissions.

The Community Project Funding process was created to ensure that Members of Congress — in concert with the communities they represent — may submit direct applications for federal funding to support locally planned projects as part of the yearly appropriations process.

To be eligible, projects must be sponsored by local or state government entities or non-profit organizations and must be projects that would otherwise meet the qualifications to apply for federal grant funding. The purpose of Community Project Funding is to ensure direct, local engagement as part of the federal appropriations process. In line with this goal, funding applications needed to demonstrate significant local support for the projects.

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