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Supes review ag districts, road funds

SoVaNow.com / April 08, 2010
Halifax County Supervisors on Monday night heard two speakers address the inclusion of some 20 tracts of land into the newly formed Ag/Forestal Districts. It was the third public hearing the Board has held on the 69 parcels that are being requested for inclusion in the special tax assessment districts across the county and the only time that anyone has commented on any of the requests.

Betty J. Brown asked Supervisors to explain to her how the inclusion of the properties, which adjoin her land on two sides, might affect her property and her neighborhood.

“This will be the best security you can have,” County Administrator George Nester explained to Brown as he told her inclusion in the special districts will mean that the adjoining lands cannot be subdivided and sold and cannot be developed to a more intensive use than that prior to their inclusion in the district.

And former County Planner Jerry Lovelace complimented the Board on establishing the special districts which meet all criteria, he said, and he asked that the requests be approved for the full term of the district. (The term of the districts, which can be between four and ten years, will be decided on April 19 when Supervisors are scheduled to approve the creation of the new districts).

During another public comment period Highway Residency Administrator Joe Barkley advised Supervisors that this year’s public hearing on the Six Year Highway Plan is a process that the Board undertakes every two years. “The financial limitations were tight in 2008, but they are even more so this year,” Barkley said, noting there will only be $596,841 in telefee funding available in the six year plan (about $100,000 each year).

Barkley explained that the Board has only one big project listed, that being reconstruction of two-tenths mile of Meadville Road (State Route 642) at a cost of $4.8 million and the second phase of relocating 1.1 mile of Meadville Road at a cost of $6.2 million.

The Highway Administrator said the County did not pave any of the unpaved 25 roads which qualify for state maintenance since they have traffic counts above 50. Twelve had been identified earlier and 13 more added this year. Those roads already identified as qualifying for paving are Route 916 from Route 675 for 0.48 mile northeast to 675; Route 761 from 851 to 621; Route 771 from Route 683 to dead end; Route 774 from 667 to dead end; Route 805 from 601 to dead end; Route 806 from 716 to dead end; Route 820 from Route 659 to the Pittsylvania County line; Route 858 from 745 to dead end; Route 901 from 360 for 0.8 mile north to 360; Route 928 from 658 to 0.4 mile south of 658, Route 948 from 611 for 0.29 mile and Route 955 from 58 to dead end.

The newly identified unpaved roads which qualify for state maintenance are Route 604 from the Mecklenburg County line to 733; Route 695 from 624 to 0.30 mile south east of 624; Route 758 from 623 to 0.50 mile west of 623; Route 784 from 626 to dead end; Route 830 from 501 to 0.40 mile west of 501; Route 845 from 832 to dead end; Route 846 from 621 to dead end; Route 850 from 711 to dead end; Route 863 from 740 to dead end; Route 892 from 626 to 0.65 mil west of 626; Route 915 from 832 to 0.77 mile east of 832; Route 921 from 647 to 0.30 mile west of 647 and 1004 SCL Clover to 0.30 mile southwest of Clover.

None of the unpaved roads have been prioritized for paving, Barkley stressed, but he added that the Board may want to do so whenever it appears that funding will be available to pave some of the roads. He asked that the Board accept the list and make it a part of their Six Year plan. ED4 Supervisor Doug Bowman moved for approval of the plan, including the list of unpaved roads, with ED7 Supervisor Lottie T. Nunn seconding his motion, which passed the Board on a unanimous vote.

Following an earlier public hearing, Supervisors approved a request for a conditional use permit from Reed and Leigh Edwards which will allow them to develop campsites with water and septic facilities and electricity for three campers, particularly for hunters and fishermen, in ED#7 on Ramble Road, in Virgilina. In moving for approval of the permit Nunn, in whose district the land lies, said “people seem happy with the idea” of the development of the campsites.

In the other public hearing on Monday evening, the board approved entering into an agreement with the Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens and Environmental Education Center to develop a series of public educational demonstration gardens which will be located on some 15 acres in Edmunds Park. Comparing the proposed gardens to the Lewis Ginter Gardens in Richmond, Master Gardener Bill McCaleb, whose group will oversee the creation and development of the gardens, said “there are a lot of citizens interested in seeing this happen. It will be a real tourism attraction,” he added. Final action by the Board will come when an agreement is drawn up and brought back to the Supervisors for approval.

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