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Plan for hospital intersection hits snag / August 16, 2017
South Hill Town Council learned Monday night that roadway improvements at the intersection of Highways 1 and 138 near the new VCU-CMH hospital have hit a snag with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Town manager Kim Callis said VDOT is asking for more information from the town to justify its request to install a traffic signal instead of a roundabout at the intersection.

When the town applied for VDOT revenue sharing funds to finance the work, they informed VDOT of their preference for a signalized intersection at Highways 1 and 138, Callis explained adding that this request was shared, without objection, with VDOT officials at the South Hill Residency.

Since the application date, Callis said VDOT has implemented policies with a strong preference for roundabouts. Even though this policy was not in place when South Hill initially filed its application for revenue sharing, the Richmond VDOT district office nonetheless is requiring additional justification for the traffic signal.

Callis said town officials will work closely with its contractor, Timmons and various VDOT staff to answer all questions and concerns.

Councilman Mike Moody asked, “Since VDOT wants roundabouts and South Hill wants a stoplight, how does that affect funding?” Callis answered, “I don’t know.”

» In other business, the Groom School project on Plank Road in town has been awarded $50,000 from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Callis told Council members that Landmark Asset Services, the company redeveloping the property converting it into apartments, will use the money to perform Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, sample the soil, locate an existing septic tank and drain field and develope a site reuse plan.

This is a matching grant and the developer will be responsible for providing the matching funds.

The environmental review portion of the project will be completed prior to Sept. 15 by Swift Creek Environmental, Callis said.

Because the Virginia Economic Development Partnership looks favorably on the Groom School project and the progress it has made to date, the agency is encouraging the town and the developer to apply for a Virginia Brownfields Assistance Fund Site Remediation grant to address environmental issues identified during the site assessment.

“A cursory review of the property indicated that lead-based paint and asbestos are present on site,” said Callis. The site remediation grant, which can be for up to $500,000, will be used to remediate the contaminated property, and remove hazardous substances and an existing septic tank and drain field.

» Engineering work is steadily progressing on the Northside sewer project, according to Callis. To date, B&B Consultants has completed field work to determine the routes for both the gravity sewer and force main. By the end of the month, Callis said he expects them to have completed surveying of the norther gravity sewer routes and pump station. Once this survey work is done, B&B will be able to complete most of the related design work.

By mid-November, South Hill should be ready to advertise for bids to secure a contractor to complete the Northeast sewer collection system improvements. The project should be completed by mid-November 2018.

» All the foundation work is complete on the new maintenance facility building being constructed on the site of the old Exchange Warehouse on Danville Street. The site is now ready for construction to begin of the steel building.

» Two of the smaller infields are Parker Park are undergoing rehabilitation work, and the town’s cemetery, Oakwood Cemetery, has been expanded. As of July 1, more than 2,000 new plots are available for purchase at a cost of $800.

» Kim Clary was reappointed to the board of directors of the Lake Country Area Agency on Aging, Kim Callis was approved for an additional term on the board of directors for the Lake Country Development Corporation, and Bruce Robinson was named to succeed Janice Pernell on the Lake Country Development Corporation board.

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