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Supes hear more about roads, tourism
SoVaNow.com / April 10, 2013The Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors has deferred a decision on which, if any projects to add to the local six-year road improvement plan, with Supervisor Bill Blalock arguing that action should await further study of the county’s traffic patterns and a better understanding of the paving options that VDOT offers.
The supervisors’ secondary roads committee will hold a second workshop on the six year plan before presenting their final recommendations to the full Board
The current plan was created nearly ten years ago. Blalock argued that the number or type of vehicles traveling on any given road may have changed in the past ten years.
VDOT Engineer Billy Smith explained the three paving options for the supervisors’ consideration — rural rustic, pave in place and full paving. The cheapest, rural rustic, costs between $150,000 to $175,000. Smith highlighted the potential problems drivers face on rural rustic roads. They can be narrow — less than 18 feet across — with deep drainage ditches on each side. This makes traveling hazardous during times of heavy traffic or when the road is used by farm equipment and logging trucks.
By asking VDOT to pave a road according to rural rustic standards, Smith told Supervisors that they were implicitly promising to limit development in the area surrounding the road. The best candidates for rural rustic paving, according to Smith, are dead end roads with little traffic, especially logging trucks.
This prompted Supervisor Jim Jennings to question whether any road in Mecklenburg County was a candidate for rural rustic paving. “Almost all of these dead end roads contain timberland. There will come a time when that timber will be cut. What then? I would strongly advise against rural rustic because you compromise safety that much.”
Another option is VDOT’s pave-in-place standard. It requires a road span of thirty feet across, 18 feet of it paved, an additional 2 feet on each side for unpaved shoulder, and the balance for utilities and drain pipes. This paving method costs between $250,000 and $300,000.
Full paving costs close to $1 million per mile. The road is generally 50 feet across, including shoulders, utilities, and drain lines.
For safety reasons, Smith said, VDOT would like all paved surfaces to be at least 18 feet across, but with a rural rustic road that is not always the case. Therefore, the only roads on the current six-year plan that he would recommend for rural rustic paving are those with little traffic or which do not lead to the water.
Lucinda’s Dirt Road, which is currently scheduled for paving in 2013 or 2014, is not a good candidate for rural rustic paving, he said. “It is a cut -across [it connects two paved roads], and once paved it will more likely draw additional traffic,” Smith said.
Esnon Road is still set for paving as a rural rustic road this fall.
In other business, supervisors granted a special exception permit to Meadowview Terrace as it moves forward with its plans to add 18 new beds to its facility on Buffalo Road in Clarksville.
Connie Zamora, director of Planning & Business Development for Halifax Regional Health System, the owner of Meadowview Terrace, said the need to increase the number of beds at the nursing home is directly tied to the closing last month of a 54-bed facility in South Boston, South Boston Manor.
HRHS has asked the state Department of Health to grant them the right to expand two existing facilities, Woodview in South Boston and Meadowview Terrace in Clarksville. The expansions would ensure that the Southside Planning District will continue to offer the same number of long term care beds deemed necessary under the Planning District’s Certificate of Public Need.
Zamora said the 11,200 square foot, 18-bed household addition at Meadowview would include a kitchen, dining room, laundry room, common areas and easily accessible porches. If the Department of Health grants HRH the right to expand its facilities, the new Meadowview wing should open in the 2015, adding between 17 and 20 jobs to the area.
In other business,
R. William and Donna Hill were granted the right to begin operating a farm winery off Highway 47 in Chase City.
Supervisors met the county’s new Tourism Director, Justin Kerns. Monday was his first day on the job. Kerns is originally from Virginia, having grown up on a tobacco farm near Charlottesville. Most recently he and his wife were living in southern California.
Kerns holds a BS in Recreation and tourism management and an MS in Tourism management, both from Cal State, North Ridge. His focus will be on promoting Mecklenburg County and the lake to vacationers and organizations around the state and country.
County Administrator Wayne Carter said he would attend an upcoming meeting in Richmond to speak in support of the new Dominion Virginia Power plant coming to Brunswick County. Carter said the Sierra Club is objecting to the plant, but offered no details on the nature of their objection.
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