Last updateMon, 17 Oct 2016 2pm



King George Fire Department responds to fire at landfill

A fire of undetermined origin erupted at the King George landfill on Bullock Drive Saturday. A King George

sheriff's deputy first noticed the smoke from the blaze and notified fire and rescue authorities.

"Once we arrived at the scene we did confirm that the fire was at the landfill," said King George Fire and

Rescue Chief David Moody. "The fire was approximately one half acre in size and burning on the southwest

bank and and at the top of the landfill."

"It included burning trash, petroleum based products and some pieces of tires," Moody said. "The fire was

surrounding a methane gas well pipe. Extinguishing the fire around the area became our priority."

Moody said fire crews worked at the scene of the landfill fire for several hours and used eight tanker loads of

water as well as shuttling water to the fire site in one of the department's pumper trucks. Stafford County

provided water to fight the blaze from a pumper truck as well.

Richard Leggitt

Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins coming to Dahlgren

King George will be getting a Dunkin’ Donuts in Dahlgren on the vacant parcel next to McDonald’s on US 301 (James Madison Parkway).

County officials are pleased, with Ruby Brabo encapsulating the sentiment.

“The addition of a Dunkin’ Donuts to our community will be well received,” Brabo said. She’s chairwoman of the King George Board of Supervisors.

The popular franchise offers hot and cold coffee and other beverages, along with sandwiches, doughnuts and other bakery products.

It’s expected to be a hit with residents, as well as with employees of the Dahlgren Naval base and its contractors outside the gate.

In addition to Dunkin’ Donuts, the restaurant will also contain a Baskin-Robbins shop, with ice cream cones, shakes, treats, cakes, pies, and more. Baskin-Robbins is the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops.

That’s according to Shawn Palivoda, who with his father, Stan, is involved in the property ownership. “It will be awesome. I just can’t wait,” Palivoda said.

Palivoda also said construction will begin as soon possible, after a needed easement is finalized with the shopping center for the entrance.

Linwood Thomas, director of the county’s department of Economic Development, was also happy with the news.

“We are excited to add Dunkin’ Donuts as the newest addition to the long line of recent major corporate retail stores that have located near Dahlgren in the last 28 months,” Thomas said.

“The Department of Economic Development looks forward to working with Dunkin’ Donuts as they grow and expand in King George.”

The restaurant will be constructed on a triangle-shaped parcel in front of the Food Lion Shopping Center, between two existing entrances connecting to US 301, with one running through the McDonalds parking lot.

The project consists of a 2,353 square foot restaurant building, associated parking and stormwater management. Access to the site will be provided by an access easement located through the Food Lion Shopping Center, on the north side of the Dunkin’ Donuts parcel site.

The property is zoned General Trade (C-2) which permits the planned restaurant by right.

The Palivoda property owners had requested approval of the final site plan on behalf of the developer, Aashni Enterprises, LLC, with the Planning Commission voting unanimously to approve the site plan on July 12.

As part of that action, the commission also granted an exception to reduce the width of the required landscape buffer from 25 feet to 10 feet along US 301.

That had been requested by the applicant and recommended in the staff report prepared by Jack Green, county director of the Community Development department.

The reason for the narrower landscape buffer is due to the small size of the lot and to provide consistency with the existing developed sites adjacent. The reduction will not adversely affect

the use of adjacent properties nor endanger public safety along US 301.

The restaurant is required to have 16 parking spaces with 22 to be provided, for customers not using its drive-through window. The development will be served by public water and sewer provided by the King George Service Authority.

Phyllis Cook

Judges verdict: New courthouse needed in King George

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Two judges came to a verdict last week in King George and pronounced the need for a new

courthouse in King George County.

An order as to when that will take place will be decided by the Board of Supervisors.

Deliberations on the topic were put off until its next work session meeting near the end of this


If supervisors decide to fund the design and engineering in the next couple of years, followed by

actual construction, it’s possible a new courthouse could be completed prior to the old one

turning 100 years old. The county courthouse was built in 1923.

The discussion with judges was part of a parade of other requesters to come before supervisors at

a work session on July 12.

All departments with projects requested for funding in the current fiscal year of a proposed five-

year Capital Improvement Program were invited to make their cases before the board.

There were two projects bringing the judges to the table last week.

One is a $140,000 project by the county administration to purchase and install a large geothermal

system for humidity control at the courthouse.

The unit would replace the current seven rooftop heat pumps purchased in 1994 which continue

to need repair.

The second project is $950,000 requested for design of a new courthouse in the current year.

When Circuit Court Judge Herbert M. Hewitt and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Judge Joseph

A. Vance IV appeared before the King George Board of Supervisors on July 12, they both

discussed the humidity problem.

Vance stressed the problem in his courtroom.

“The heat and the humidity are just difficult to bear in the courtroom, and there’s mold in there,”

Vance said.

“It’s hard to bear when I’m sitting up there with that great big black dress on.”

Circuit Court Clerk Vic Mason addressed humidity elsewhere in the courthouse. Three large

dehumidifiers run in the Commonwealth Attorney’s office with an estimated 25-30 gallons

emptied from them on a daily basis.

The point was well-taken.

Court personnel moved on from humidity issues to other problems with the courthouse. Interior

spaces in the courthouse had been reconfigured as recently as 2013 to help address security


A single separate entry was provided for members of the public to be screened by deputies.

Entrances for judges and prisoners were separated and offices for judges were partitioned from

the public by providing a secure hallway.

But Vance said security problems remain.

“The prisoner holding cell is on same corridor as the judges’ offices,” Vance said.

He also stressed the need for more waiting area with people stacked up in the hallway waiting for

their cases.

“We often don’t have public or a lot of people in the juvenile court for cases. We need more

waiting area. That’s a concern that I have,” Vance said.

He suggested the need for separate courtrooms for juvenile cases and for domestic relations

cases, so they don’t have to share use of the Circuit courtroom.

He also said county residents deserve better.

“Every citizen needs to go to the courthouse at some point and it’s not well organized, with

people waiting all over the place. I don’t think that’s what we want to convey to the people of

King George,” Vance said.

Hewitt concurred with all points.

“The prisoners come in with shackles on their legs and they come into the courtroom using the

same door as me. They have access to the path where I sit,” Hewitt said.

“The bailiffs all do a very good job. But in newer courtrooms, prisoners come up in a separate

elevator from another floor.”

Hewitt said very good designs have been developed specifically to deal with court security, not

just for judges, but for courthouse personnel and for members of the public.

Mason agreed. “Today Judge Vance had court and there were probably 30-35 people standing in

the narrow hallways, with people stacked on both sides of the hall, with others coming in to file a

deed or apply for a marriage license,” Mason said.

He said parking is very limited on court days and there is inadequate space inside the courthouse

for offices. More space is also needed for attorneys and clients to meet prior to hearings.

Waiting areas need to be larger and planned to provide space to separate people on opposing

sides of cases.

“We’ve gotten the life out of that building and I see no way to expand it,” Mason said.

Construction of a new courthouse in King George has been on the horizon for the many years,

remaining in the fifth year of the annually-adopted five year plan for a long time.

But now design money could be approved.

A new courthouse is expected to be sited at the county’s government center which currently

contains the Sheriff’s office and county animal pound.

There has been no public discussion of what would happen to the existing courthouse, but there

is a presumption it would be put to other uses. The King George Historical Society is housed in

‘the old jail.’ That group has been eying expansion into more of the building for several years.

The cost for a new courthouse has been a moving target and now it’s listed as $13,700,000 for a

new 30,000 square foot building. But in some previous years, it was estimated at $15,400,000 for

a 40,000 square foot building.

Decisions need to be made.

The next work session meeting with capital projects on the agenda is 6:30 p.m. July 26 in the

board room of the Revercomb Administration building, located behind the courthouse on Route

3 (Kings Highway).

Phyllis Cook

Christmas in July at King George Farmers Market July 23

King George Farmers Market will hold its second annual Christmas in July market day July 23.

Market vendors will be joined by craft vendors 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot at King George

Elementary School, 10381 Ridge Road (Route 205 at Route 3).

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Santa and Ms. Claus will be in attendance 9 to11 a.m. The event is sponsored by InFirst Federal

Credit Union. BBQ by Backwoods BBQ will be available.

Crafters signed up include Chrissy's Beads, Go Cali Enterprise LLC, L&J Art and Crafty

Treasures, Ed's Pens, Lilla Rose, and Not Just Jars.

“There are more vendors in the works,” Farmer’s Market President Agostinho Caldeira said.

“Come on over and shop for your fresh vegetables, baked goods, get an early start for Christmas,

and meet Santa and Ms. Claus.”

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Peak summer vegetables are currently available, including sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes,

squash, beets, onions, and more.

In addition, plants, jams, jellies, honey, baked goods, natural skin products, organic meats, and

other items are offered from the fields, forests and waters of King George and Westmoreland


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Market members include All in the Details, Blake's Plants, Buck Wild Woods Farm & Forestry,

Jahn's Farm, Jenn-Eclairs, Locust Tree, McGinnis Hill Farm, Normandie Cuisine , Santa Cruz

Produce, The Doll Dress and Plant Shop, The Eat Shop, Two Peas Acres, LLC, Biota Farm,

Freedom Farms, Galazka Eats, LLC, Larry's Produce, Lesley's Garden, Minter's Produce, Rogue

Radish Farm, Stonewall Seafood & Produce, Tarrell Farm, and Wisteria Farms.

The market is open 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday in the parking lot at King George Elementary

School, 10381 Ridge Road (Route 205 at Route 3), through Oct. 31.

Phyllis Cook


Sidewalks in King George courthouse area retrofitted

Sidewalk ramps were recently retrofitted at 11 locations in the King George courthouse area on

Route 3 (Kings Highway), with work completed on July 13.

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King George sidewalk retrofit work by VDOT contractor on July 11-13, in front of Courthouse property with Revercomb Building in background.

The sidewalk upgrades were part of routine scheduled paving work being undertaken throughout

the state to systematically update the ‘curb cuts’ or handicapped ramps to install truncated dome

material just prior to re-paving the roadway.

That’s according to a Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson for the

Fredericksburg District.

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Sidewalk detail showing ‘truncated dome’ material, also known as ‘warning surfaces,’

in front of Smoot Library.

Kelly Hannon, communications manager, provided more information about the recent sidewalk


“The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for sidewalk ramps call for

‘truncated dome’ material, also known as warning surfaces, to be installed on the ramps. These

are tiles containing raised domes and are the uniform standard for ADA compliance,” Hannon


“The tiles help visually impaired pedestrians identify the boundary between the sidewalk and

street and generally to orient themselves to the direction of travel.”

The average cost to retrofit each ramp is $1,616.

Hannon said they have an on-call contractor performing this work and moving from location to

location. Since spring 2015, the contractor has upgraded 340 ADA ramps at a total cost of

$549,537 in the Fredericksburg area, the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

Phyllis Cook

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