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Liberty ATV Trails comes up at Halifax County supervisors’ meeting / June 07, 2021

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Halifax with an agenda that includes a public hearing on a proposed ATV trail riding park in the Liberty area.

After the Halifax County Planning Commission voted last month to reject the proposed Liberty ATV Trails, it’s county supervisors’ turn to consider the venture. Thomas “Andy” Hughes, an area resident and member of the Liberty fire department, has proposed building an off-road riding course on a 142-acre tract off Chisolm Trail, with the riding trails taking up about 135 acres. The rest of the land would be set aside as buffer and for parking and buildings.

Proponents of the recreational park say it is would boost the county’s economy and provide a safe riding area for local ATV enthusiasts.

But by a 5-3 margin, planners recommended that the permit request be denied because the project would create problems for the neighbors, 100-year-old Bessie Carr and members of the Carr family, due to the close proximity to their farm.

According to County Administrator Scott Simpson, VDOT has confirmed that the existing entrance to the property from Chisolm Trail is inadequate for a commercial project such as an ATV park, but suggested there may be enough road frontage to be able to shift the entrance to a more suitable location.

Hughes has offered to provide a 100-foot setback from all other property owners in the area and to bar alcohol use at Liberty ATV Trails. He mentioned these provisions to county planners but was unable to convince the majority to support the project.

The Board of Supervisors is not bound by the recommendations of the Planning Commission, but it is rare for board members to overrule the panel.

» Also tonight, supervisors will hold a public hearing on the county’s Six-Year Road Improvement Plan. The county expects to receive $193,464 in new funding from VDOT to pave about 1.42 miles of unpaved road. Projects that are recommended for inclusion in the Six-Year Plan are stretches of White Lane, Talley Loop and Wild Turkey Run.

“There is not a lot of available money and dozens of ways to pick which 1.42 miles gets done,” wrote Simpson to supervisors in their board meeting packet.

» Supervisors will consider lending $550,000 to the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority to pay for the upfit of an industrial building to accommodate an undisclosed business prospect. Supervisors have not specified which building would receive the improvements, including HVAC upgrades.

If granted, the five-year loan would carry a 3.75 percent interest.

» Supervisors will consider a proposal by the solid waste committee to establish a trash convenience center at a wooded lot near the Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department station. The first step would be to commission a land survey to determine if the site is suitable.

» The board will consider approval of a proposed small-scale solar generation facility on Philpott Road, next to R.O. Harrell Trucking Company.

Supervisors previously held a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission on the 3.13 megawatt facility, which is being sought by developer Dimension Renewable Energy. The project was recommended unanimously by county planners.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at the Bethune Office Complex second-floor conference room starting at 6:30 p.m. It is open to the public.

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