Popowicz resigns

As the town manager of Dayton, a town of about 1,500 people in Rockingham County, Popowicz will oversee all of Dayton’s departments, including police, public works, the treasurer’s office, and parks and recreation, he said. In addition he said he will work with town councilors on several different committees.

County Administrator Steve Nichols said that Popowicz “has really gotten Fluvanna on the map in the business community outside of the county. We have lots of people who know who and where Fluvanna County is now because of Bobby’s outreach efforts throughout Virginia, even with foreign companies.”

In addition to bringing smaller businesses to the county, such as Budget Electric and Mechanical and the Lafayette School, Popowicz said that he forged connections with larger businesses. “There are a lot of big companies and developers who know who we are – they’re just sitting on the sidelines till we get that water and sewer,” he said.

Popowicz considers his work on Fluvanna water and sewer, especially the plan with the Department of Corrections to bring water and sewer coverage to Zion Crossroads, to be one of his successes as economic development director.

In addition to that, “We’re been able to put together a process for people who want to come and put in small businesses that’s quicker than any of our neighboring counties,” Popowicz said. “Our typical turn-around time for most of these situations is between 90 and 120 days. That’s fast.” In other counties the process can take between nine and 12 months, he said.

Economic development in Fluvanna is not without its challenges. Popowicz pointed to the biggest of those challenges as the lack of water, sewer, and infrastructure in the county – improvements businesses vitally need. “Getting that infrastructure in place is going to be the key to our success here,” he said. “Once we put those in place, I think we’ve laid a pretty good foundation for whoever comes in behind me.”

Popowicz said he will greatly miss Fluvanna’s people. “Everyone I’ve met has been really nice and great to work with, with lots of enthusiasm,” he said. “You can tell this is a really tight-knit community. We have our differences, but you can tell people respect each other. I’m going to miss that.”

Nichols said he is pleased about Popowicz’s new opportunity and looks forward to hiring “another superstar” to guide economic development into the county. “We’re not going to have a gap for too long,” he said.

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