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Board adopts VDOT Six-Year plan as presented

About 50 people were present at a public hearing in King George on May 21 to hear Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Northern Neck Residency administrator David Brown provide an overview and slides on the 2014-19 Six Year Plan for secondary road improvements.
30 people took advantage of the public hearing and provided their comments.

Most of the speakers noted similar issues, saying they lived on dirt roads and wanted them paved so they would not have to contend with dust, potholes, untrimmed ditches and loose gravel.

Nearly two hours later, the Board unanimously adopted the plan as presented, which included a revised option for some improvements to Salem Church Road to be completed by the end of 2015. That is being funded from federal dollars.

Approval was also provided for paving for a half-mile section of St. Pauls Road according to VDOT’s funding and planning schedule by the end of 2017.

But Supervisors also provided consensus to a suggestion by Supervisor Joe Grzeika to task county administrator Travis Quesenberry to investigate whether a developer is responsible for paving the half-mile section of St. Pauls Road.

Most of the 30 speakers were residents of St. Pauls Road, which is the top priority for paving dollars in King George.

Other speakers urged paving Chatterton Lane and some expressed concerns about other unpaved roads, including Salem Church Road.

SPEAKERS
Speakers were asked to limit their comments to three minutes, with many ignoring the timer beeps.

Speakers were Ralph Lee, Rev. Glascoe, Tyrone Pollard, Lenny Roan, Andrew Mason, James Hudson, Carolyn Hayward, Jeff Stonehill, Janet Collier, Marsha Stonehill, Ruth Thompson, Bill Giesenhaus, John Gedney, Dave Norford, Ian Valentine, Susan Valentine, Robert Ingram, Guy Holland, Donald Windsor, Dan Shegogue, Cathleen Kuker, Mike McGraw, Billie Beaudette, Brad Curtin, Arlene Jacovelli, Cheryl Byer, Claiborne Taylor, Bob Pallone, Sylvia Hudson and Troy Bentz.

Chairman Dale Sisson and other Supervisors thanked them for attending and contributing to the hearing and also learning more about the VDOT funding process.

MEAGER ANNUAL STATE FUNDING
The problem is that the annual funding from VDOT has dwindled to a meager amount of about $75,000, with a few speakers asking Supervisors to find county funding to pump up the amounts from the state for paving.

But none of the Supervisors were interested in that scenario, taking a wait-and-see attitude about the state’s newly-adopted plan for funding transportation across the state that is to begin to be implemented in the coming year.

Supervisors commiserated and all five said they lived on a county dirt road, with Ruby Brabo saying she had complained over and over to ensure that the developer of her subdivision was compelled to follow through with paving her road.

Sisson also noted that there are 26 unpaved roads containing 22 miles and that paving them is still the responsibility of the state.

Grzeika and others agreed that the VDOT allocation is “woefully inadequate to address needs.” He pointed out that it currently costs about $250,000 to pave a half-mile, saying it would total about $11 million to pave all the dirt roads.

Phyllis Cook

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