Mon12292014

Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

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Montross making strides in effort to revitalize itself

The Town of Montross’ revitalization efforts have exceeded expectations so far.

County mulls in-lieu money for wetlands

The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a public hearing for Dec. 8 on a proposal...

County board tables Beach road proposal

The Westmoreland Board of Supervisors, representatives from the Virginia Department of Transportatio...

Montross using state grant to spruce up town

Linda Farneth

Revitalization took center stage at the Oct. 28 Montross Town Council meeting.
The To...

Supervisors cite proximity to nearby home as reason

Supervisors cite proximity to nearby home as reason

The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors has voted to deny permission for  giant farming op...

Oldhams man gets 20 years for shooting

A Westmoreland County man entered a plea of no contest Oct. 17 to seven felony counts in Westmorelan...

 

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County responds to Phase 2 Washington District sewer questions

The county government answered Westmoreland County Citizens Association’s Phase 2 Washington District sewer project questions one week after the written inquiry was faxed to the office of County Administrator Norm Risavi.
The document submitted by the citizen group known as WCCA noted the presence of sewer project consulting engineer Charles Riedlinger of Resource International at the board’s July 13 meeting.

Read more: County responds to Phase 2 Washington District sewer questions

Cameras at issue in Westmoreland County

A CBS television news camera crew covering O’Gara Group’s move to Westmoreland had visited the county on June 8 but declined to stay around for that month’s evening Board of Supervisors meeting.
On August 10 an ABC television news camera crew visited the county to cover reactions to O’Gara Group’s arrival on property purchased from Bryan Chandler several weeks ago. That crew also opted not to stick around for the evening Board of Supervisors meeting.
On June 8 and August 10 Westmoreland resident Bob Quinn was prevented from videoing the Board of Supervisors meetings. Quinn successfully filmed the Westmoreland Industrial Development Authority’s meeting on June 29 and county government authorities subpoenaed a copy of that meeting video. That video has been displayed on The Journal's website at www.journalpress.com since the June 29 meeting.The Journal was present this Monday evening when Westmoreland Sheriff’s Office employees Ron Hundley and Bill England prevented Quinn from entering the Supervisors’ G. D. English Building meeting room with the camera in his hand.  “You can’t take that in there with you,” Quinn was told as he and others went through the security screening protocols that were instituted by the Sheriff’s Office and local government on July 13.

“Cameras in courtrooms are prohibited,” the deputies explained.

Read more: Cameras at issue in Westmoreland County

O’Gara Group completes purchase of Chandler tract

The sales transaction is official. Car dealer S. Bryan Chandler has sold O’Gara Training and Services, LLC approximately 330.0 acres of land that is situated between Westmoreland Industrial park and the upper reaches of a Nomini tributary.
The deed that governs the transaction was filed in the Westmoreland Circuit Court on July 30 and indicates that the A-1, Agriculture zoned property assessed at $989,700.00 was in fact purchased for $2,500,000.00 on July 28.
Language in the deed reveals that “for and in consideration of an IRC Section 1031 Tax-Free Exchange, and of other good and valuable considerations, receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, the GRANTOR does grant and convey unto the GRANTEE, with GENERAL WARRANTY OF TITLE and ENGLISH COVENANTS, the real estate hereinafter described as follows [on an attachment identified as Schedule A].”

 

Read more: O’Gara Group completes purchase of Chandler tract

Get ready for the Montross Fall Festival

Believe it or not full scale planning for the annual Montross Fall Festival is well underway. Each year the festival seems to get bigger and better.  This year will be the best ever!

Reserve Friday evening October 2 as the start of the Festival and all day Saturday October 3 for the parade, music, booths, kid's zone, food and who knows what all.  Between now and then we'll be providing overall information on the Festival and details on some of the many attractions. As just one example of the size and scope of this year's Festival, we're starting off with some background and thoughts from our Grand Marshal.

Read more: Get ready for the Montross Fall Festival

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

 

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