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Garden draws complaint in front of Mecklenburg supes
SoVaNow.com / June 12, 2013Wes Holten whose property abuts the new extension garden, located on the site of the old Boydton Elementary School on Madison Street, expressed his unhappiness with the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors for installing the garden without first notifying him, and called for Supervisors to “remove the garden.”
Holten claimed the garden cost him the sale of his home, which he and his wife have tried to sell for over a year. However, in response to questions posed by Supervisor and Property Committee Chair Jim Jennings, it became clear that Holten’s objections were aimed, not at the garden, but the drivers who use the old driveway on the old school property as a short cut between Madison and Jefferson Streets in Boydton. He claims between 50 and 60 cars drive through the property every day.
In March, Mecklenburg’s Extension Agent Taylor Clarke sought permission from Supervisors to install an extension garden on a portion of the unused land near the old Boydton Elementary School. The garden would serve three functions. He would use it garden for demonstration purposes, Leonard Elam could use it for some of his 4-H programs and the vegetables grown in the garden could be used for home canning and food safety demonstrations.
Holten, whose property is separated from the garden by dense shrubbery, claimed a “woman and her husband and their lawyer were looking at his property last April when a man pulled up on a tractor and began plowing the land [for the County Extension garden]. She asked me what was going on, and I had to say, ‘I don’t know. Then she and her husband left. I really thought they were going to buy my property.”
Clarke said, with the exception of the plowing, which was done on a Saturday by a volunteer, the work and demonstrations involving the garden will take place during the week. He also assured Supervisors and Holten that the garden was not open to the public.
Holten then asked if the County would sell him a portion of the land as a buffer. This request was voted down, since the Town of Boydton especially would like to keep the site in-tact for potential future development. He then left after telling Supervisors, “I feel like I got steam rolled. I was never able to come here and express my case. I think before anything happened I should have been notified.”
In other business, County Administrator Wayne Carter told Supervisors that, as part of a cost saving measure, the General Registrars’ office would be relocated into the former Commonwealth Attorney building on Madison Street. The County owns that building, but rents the one in which the Registrar’s office is currently located.
“Since the jail moved to its new buildings in Brunswick County and Prison Road, materials and equipment once stored in the [former Commonwealth Attorney building] was moved to the [recently vacated] jail site,” Carter explained. This, in turn, opened up the first floor of the Commonwealth Attorney building. “It is handicapped accessible and has enough space for the Registrar to store voting equipment.”
Carter said the move will take place before the next election this fall.
Supervisors authorized Angie Kellett Economic Development Office to apply for a $200,000 grant from the Tobacco Indemnification fund, which will be used to market a regional marketing alliance, Virginia’s Growth Alliance.
Keith and Mark Brankley, owners of a 4,000 acre farm in the Trottinridge area near Skipwith, were recognized for breaking the previous state record for soybean yield. Their farm placed first in the 2012 Soybean Yield Contest, with a full season yield of 108.2 bushels per acre. The previous state record yield was nearly 15 bushels less per acre, around 93 bushels per acre.
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