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The Burcham Era In Clifton Forge
By The Members Of The Clifton Forge Town Council
Clifton Forge, VA (March 22, 2018) - Darlene Burcham has been Town Manager for Clifton Forge for nearly eight years. During that time, Ms. Burcham, with a supportive council has led the Town in many progressive changes, has marketed the assets of the Town and has been a home owner, volunteer and active participant in Town activities.

Ms. Burcham has been Town Manager long enough to make lasting changes and throughout our collective years on council, we have had a majority of members who see her as a positive force and instrumental in the resurgence of our Town. Ms. Burcham works tirelessly for Clifton Forge, and is available to every Council member and Town Department Head at any time, day or night.

-Improvements include paving roads, inspecting rental properties to protect renters’ safety.

-Replacing outdated and unsafe Town equipment, replacing worn out rusty water and sewer pipes.

-Additional improvements include the renovation of the second floor of Town Hall with a lift added for handicapped visitors and staff.

-Town employees have detailed job descriptions and regular reviews.

-A five-year comprehensive plan as a road map to where our Town is heading.

-A small Business Incubator that encourages entrepreneurs.

-A wonderful IGA store convenient to downtown.

-Our water plant is ready to undertake repairs.

-The Roxbury neighborhood is getting revitalized including utilities, all while our citizens have not seen a property tax increase in nine years.

-In the time Ms. Burcham lived in Clifton Forge—she has a home here in addition to her Roanoke home-- she has brought in over 5.3 million dollars in grants in addition to 1.8 million dollars of principal forgiveness on zero interest loans, and has advised other Clifton Forge organizations on how to obtain grants.

-Her most recent accomplishment has been to market the land that was known as the C&O Shops. Because of Ms. Burcham’s efforts, the land is now leased to a company who stores and transports salt—and when the company that was going to demolish the buildings in exchange for the recycled material pulled out of the deal, Ms. Burcham found a way to clear the land with little cost to the Town. This new business in Town is hiring employees and offering hope.

-She has been instrumental in obtaining multiple grants to build an access road to our 13-acre business site and she has begun marketing the only available land for purchase with utilities that exists in our Town. The road is completed now after several years of negotiations.

-Ms. Burcham facilitates a corridor curb appeal committee of volunteers who work weekends at specific times during the year to collect litter, cut back overgrown brush and paint home exteriors (when possible) located on the entrance corridors to the Town.

-With the help of Council, the committee recognizes home owners who make noticeable improvements to the exterior of their homes.

-She also sits on the Parks and Trails Committee and contributes to the plans for better parks and more trails in our town. Linden Park has had a complete make-over and Washington Park, with a grass-roots fund-raising effort from Town residents and businesses, is undergoing many enhancements. Hazel Run Trail and Smith Creek Trail are excellent additions to our Town.

-Ms. Burcham has worked closely with Covington’s City Manager and Alleghany County’s Administrator, and is on numerous Boards and Commissions—all the while touting the unique features of Clifton Forge and Alleghany County. She is a strong advocate for this region.

Ms. Burcham has many sides, yet you always know where you stand with her and where she stands on important and relevant issues. If there is an answer to be found when a citizen visits her with a problem, she acts quickly and with unfailing determination.

Clifton Forge has benefitted in countless ways by having her in our corner fighting for our Town. As she left her legacy in Roanoke, she continues to leave her footprint on Clifton Forge and the Alleghany Highlands. Her mind never stops and she is a problem-solver with realistic and implementable solutions…and we are so thankful that she found her way to us after leaving Roanoke.

Mayor Carl Brinkley, Vice Mayor Gayle Hillert, Councilman Jeff Irvine, Councilman Bob Umstead, Councilman Dave Oeltjen, Town Attorney Dave Davis

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