Tue07292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

VDOT to close Mattox Creek Bridge

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), which has promised to close the Mattox Creek Bridg...

Murals will be a tough act to follow

Murals will be a tough act to follow

The three new murals painted by renowned artists Melanie Stimmell from Los Angeles, and Anat Ronen, ...

Wmd Supervisors finalize budget

The Westmoreland Board of Supervisors met in special session Thursday night to finalize the county’s...

VDOT work on Mattox Creek Bridge begins this week

VDOT work on Mattox Creek Bridge begins this week

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is beginning what will be a two-year project to reb...

Former W&L Principal enters guilty plea to DWI charges

Andrea Roane, former principal of Washington and Lee High School, whose arrest for drunk driving in ...

W&L’s new football coach is Northern Neck legend

W&L’s new football coach is Northern Neck legend

Hopes for the 2014-2015 edition of the Washington & Lee Eagles varsity football team just got a ...

 

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Office-for-rent Jrnl Bldg 20130925

Relaxed zoning rules ease burden on Westmoreland Board of Zoning Appeals

A proposal to relax some rules included in the Westmoreland zoning ordinance were approved this month by the Board of Supervisors. The Planning Commission had already endorsed the amendments the jurisdiction’s Board of Zoning Appeals previously requested county land use staff to draft.
Life will hereafter be easier when owners of unimproved lots want to add accessory structures. If appropriate permits are issues, improvements such as driveways, drain fields, fences, gardens, private wells and sheds no larger than 200 square feet can be installed before a primary structure is added to the property.

Read more: Relaxed zoning rules ease burden on Westmoreland Board of Zoning Appeals

Governor Kaine moves Tidwells-Drum Bay sewer project forward

It became official when the office of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine issued the announcement Monday morning: $890,000 has been released to support an early stage of Westmoreland County’s Tidwells-Drum Bay sewer project.
The sewer project is part of $1 billion allocated for nearly 250 infrastructure projects across the state as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“These projects are beginning at a time when we are facing a national economic crisis, and they are putting Virginians to work,” Kaine said. “The projects also will pay long-term dividends to all of us, in the form of improved bridges and highways, railways and other transit, sewage treatment and drinking water.” According to the announcement, Virginia expects “to receive about $4.8 billion from the Recovery Act. Individuals, private organizations and businesses, and local governments are also eligible for additional Recovery Act funding. As more Recovery Act funds are allocated, more jobs and improvements are expected statewide."

Of the ARRA funds, $116 million is being released at this time to replace or repair Virginia bridges. Although hearings are in the works to address the replacement of the Tides Mill Bridge on state Route 205, District 4 Supervisor Woody Hynson lamented during last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting that there is no help in sight for replacing the equally decrepit Mattox Creek Bridge on state Route 205.

   The only Recovery Act funds directed to Westmoreland in this week’s disclosure from the office of the Virginia Governor is the $890,000 to support the Tidwells-Drum Bay sewer.

The Governor’s disclosure describes the nature of the “Tidwells/Drum Bay Spray Irrigation/Water Reuse” project as belonging to the “Clean Water – Green” category.

Another allocation of $2,286,000 will bring road pavement preservation and restoration to portions of state Routes 3 and 360 in Lancaster, Northumberland and Richmond counties.

Caroline County is allocated $2.6 million to improve bridges, and the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula regions’ Bay Aging Transit will receive $396,000 to improve its rural transit program.

   Westmoreland County Administrator Norman Risavi had prior knowledge of the governor’s July 20 announcements when he gained approval from the Westmoreland Supervisors to put the Tidwells-Drum Bay project out for bids.

   “The board authorized the county administrator to enter into the appropriate agreements on behalf of the county to accept FY 2009 Federal Stimulus Funds in the form of a loan from the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund Program in the amount of $890,000 (with 100% principal forgiveness) for the purpose of completing certain upgrades to the Coles Point Wastewater Plant, including construction of a new effluent storage tank and modification of the spray field pumping system, and following approval of the bid by the state, to prepare and advertise a bid solicitation for this project, with the understanding that the results of said bids will be presented to the board for approval.

   “[District 2 Supervisor Russ] Culver clarified that this is not related to the proposed Drum Bay-Tidwells sewer project.”

   The Tidwells-Drum Bay sewer project came under fire earlier this year, when the supervisors received a petition signed by Tidwells homeowners who oppose introduction of public sewer facilities in that rural community.

   Opponents cite unpopular and failed residential subdivision projects that were introduced in the village of Coles Point once public sewer system became available.

   County officials say they plan to obtain additional funding to install sewerage collection lines that will connect Tidwells and Drum Bay homes to the Coles Point wastewater treatment plant.

   Tidwells sewer proponents expect to profit from the new infrastructure. Waterfront land that was only marginally capable of supporting conventional septic drainfields can become home to condominiums and other high-density residential developments.

   The landowners on the Tidwells waterfront who saw the system coming and already invested in waterfront properties that were offered for sale in recent years expect to profit from the infusion of Recovery Act funding the county’s elected officials hope to use to support the project.

   However, County Administrator Norman Risavi said it’s unlikely the project will result in creation of local employment opportunities. Outside contractors will utilize employees who already have mastered the skills the project’s construction phase requires.

   Sewer lines will cross Lower Machodoc Creek in order to reach the Coles Point treatment plant. The facility’s liquid effluent is applied in nearby fields in order to avoid creation of a discharge point in the Potomac tributary that still supports multiple economically viable commercial fisheries.

   Despite assertions that no sewer is needed to support the current Tidwells community and that problems associated with the sparsely settled neighborhood’s small number of failing septic drain fields can be remedied with new technologies, Risavi has advised that lines connecting Tidwells to the Coles Point plant must be in place before help can be offered to residents of the densely populated Glebe Harbor and Cabin Point neighborhoods.

— Betsy Ficklin

Projects move forward in Westm'd

A series of projects are moving forward in Westmoreland County and new projects may soon be initiated.

During the June 13 Board of Supervisors meeting School Superintendent Elaine Fogliani revealed that she and County Administrator Norman Risavi have been pursuing the possibility of obtaining stimulus that are being channeled through Rural Utility Services (RUS) that would subsidize replacement of the county high school’s roofs and the roof-mounted heating and cooling systems.

To facilitate the effort, Supervisors Woody Hynson and Russ Culver have been tasked with assisting Fogliani and Risavi. It was understood that two school board members will complete that working committee’s membership.

Read more: Projects move forward in Westm'd

Fisher says "NO" to WE COUNT

The Westmoreland Supervisors’ regular monthly meeting will begin at 9:30 next Monday morning in the George D. English Building’s Circuit Court meeting place. The July 13 session’s agenda will be made available to the county’s public later this week.
The group of county residents known as WE COUNT or the Westmoreland County Citizens for Change was given a 15-minute agenda spot in May and June and WE COUNT’s Rose Goodloe and Robert Quinn recently requested a place on the Supervisors July 2009 agenda. No deal.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Darryl Fisher responded to the request on July 6. “I am in receipt of your correspondence dated June 27, 2009 on behalf of Westmoreland County Citizens for Change (WE COUNT) requesting to be placed on the agenda for the July 13, 2009 meeting of the Board of Supervisors to ‘discuss aspects of the O’Gara Group’s potential or actual purchase of county property and the involvement of DynCorp in the process,” Fisher wrote.

Read more: Fisher says "NO" to WE COUNT

IDA’s June 29 O’Gara contract meeting catches fire in Westmoreland County

It was ignition time when members of the public and Westmoreland County’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) gathered this Monday evening in their English Building meeting room to approve a new purchase agreement with The O’Gara Group. The room was filled to near capacity when IDA Chairman Jimmy Latane’s hushed voice advised Authority members that the special meeting had begun.

Read more: IDA’s June 29 O’Gara contract meeting catches fire in Westmoreland County

O’Gara Group's new sales agreement with Westmoreland

O’Gara Group has a new contract with Westmoreland County. The new sales agreement was unanimously approved by the Westmoreland Industrial Development Authority this Monday night. A predecessor contract would have expired on June 30 at midnight.
According to the June 29 sales agreement, the county will convey its 50,000 industrial shell building and surrounding 25.61 acres to O’Gara by special warranty deed.
The document notes that the referenced property is “located in Westmoreland County Industrial Park, described as Lot 2, Section 2 and is adjacent and continuous to approximately 325 acres of land owned by S. Bryan Chandler. The Property is further described as tax parcel number 35-1 00H.”
The June 29 agreement between Westmoreland County and O’Gara is the third in a series of sales contracts. The initial January 12 contract would have expired on April 1 if it had not been extended until June 30.
The referenced adjacent 325-acre tract belonging to Bryan Chandler has been the subject of a separate series of sales agreements that have been contingent on O’Gara’s ability to purchase the contiguous 25 acres of publicly owned land.

Read more: O’Gara Group's new sales agreement with Westmoreland

No personal attacks, Chairman Fisher says

The June meeting of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors was one of the year’s six evening sessions and the meeting room was filled to near capacity.
New people were in attendance and Board Chairman Darryl Fisher took advantage of several opportunities to assist the newcomers understand procedures associated with the supervisors’ monthly meetings.
At the beginning of the session’s public comment segment, Fisher explained that speakers will be expected to finish delivering their remarks in a three-minute time allocation.
Fisher explained that an individual will only have a single opportunity to speak and any questions presented during a public comment segment will be answered at the discretion of the chairman and the members of the board.

Read more: No personal attacks, Chairman Fisher says

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