Board Acts on Church Request

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BUCKINGHAM – Responding to a request made by John O'Bryant on behalf of Bethlehem Baptist Church to abandon a portion of Winfrey-Inez Road, Route 699, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors set the process in motion during its February 11 meeting.

That process, as outlined by the Virginia Department of Transportation, requires the BOS to post a notice of intent to abandon the section of road; and, then, conduct a public hearing after proper advertisement.

Following the public hearing, the board would act on the request and if the decision favored the abandonment, supervisors would adopt a resolution abandoning the prescribed portion of the road and deem that it is no longer part of the secondary system of state highways.

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O'Bryant began his presentation by sharing that the church has a “blessed problem” because membership has increased over the last several years and necessitated adding another parking area.

He shared that the new parking area presents a safety concern, especially with the children, because it necessitates crossing the road.

Explaining that the church owns property on both sides of that portion of the road, O'Bryant said the church has agreed to work with VDOT and pay all of the expenses associated with the abandonment as well as the cost associated with constructing the turnaround.

Subsequently, Supervisor Bill Talbert moved, and the board unanimously agreed, to grant the request and proceed according to VDOT requirements and scheduled the public hearing for 7:30 p.m. at the board's April 15 meeting.

The portion of Route 699, Winfrey-Inez Road slated for abandonment is approximately 500 feet and runs from the iron pin on the church's property to the intersection of Troublesome Creek Road, Route 631.

According to the notice of intent to abandon, the remaining portion of Winfrey-Inez Road, approximately 1.04 miles north from its intersection of Route 20, is a public necessity and shall be declared a dead-end area to remain a part of the secondary system of state highways.

Additionally, the notice states that the remaining section of road will include “an appropriate terminus constructed by the property owner making the request and right-of-way conveyed for maintenance of said terminus.”

Golf Cart Golf Cart and Utility Vehicle Ordinance

During his report to supervisors, VDOT's Scot Shippee, assistant administrator for the Dillwyn Residency, provided a follow-up on the board's request in December regarding the possible addition of portions of Route 604 and 722 to the county's golf cart and utility vehicle ordinance. Currently, the ordinance only authorizes use of those vehicles on Route 703, Jones Town Road.

Shippee advised that state code does restrict golf cart access to roadways with a speed limit that does not exceed 25 mph. However, he explained that the code does allow localities to adopt an ordinance authorizing the operation of golf carts on roads but the respective roadways must comply with specific requirements.

Referencing information provided by VDOT in the Board of Supervisors Manual, the engineer explained that the locality must submit evidence of its consideration to VDOT regarding the speed, volume and character of motor vehicle traffic for routes being considered for golf carts.

According to Shippee, localities should also provide an overall golf-cart plan to show connectivity to and from specific origins and destinations such as from residences to a local park or community center.

He offered, “And just for your information, it also goes on to say the locality is responsible to erect and maintain signs under the VDOT Land Use Permit process.” Shippee added, “And that VDOT shall not pay costs for sign installation or maintenance as per the Code of Virginia.”

Shippee advised that if the board wanted to proceed with adding the roads to its ordinance, county staff should draft a request for the specific routes and send it to the residency headquarters along with sketches and any detailed information they could provide.

Upon receipt of that information, Shippee said they would generate a work order for VDOT's traffic engineers to review/analyze the information and then provide feedback and recommendations to the county.

Supervisor Cassandra Stish, who is working with Yogaville regarding use of golf carts in that community, asked Shippee about information regarding enhancement grants for golf cart/bike trails. He replied that he would put her in touch with someone knowledgeable about that program.

When Shippee asked if there were any other questions, Supervisor Danny Allen asked if there were any updates on a redesign of Route 631 at its intersection with Route 20.

Shippee responded that the designers went back and reduced the impact as much as they could but no major changes were made.

In his report to the board, Shippee said crews are currently cutting back right-of-ways on primary and secondary routes; and, crews are patching potholes as needed. Additionally, he said crews are stabilizing gravel roads where they can.

“They are going to be doing some trash pick-up; continuing to answering customer service center calls; and staying stocked and ready for any wintry mix we may receive in the next couple of months,” he added.

No Buckingham County Day

During the announcement segment of the meeting, Supervisor Bill Talbert shared that the Buckingham County Lions Club is no longer able to host Buckingham County Day.

Talbert explained that he heard the Lions Club did not have enough members or the resources to continue hosting the event.

Continuing, Talbert said he talked with the county administrator but she didn't think that the county would be able to host it.

“I don't know if this is the proper time but this is an announcement-there will not be a Buckingham Day,” stated Talbert.

Noting that John O'Bryant, a member of the Lions Club, was seated in the audience, Talbert asked him if he wanted to elaborate on the issue.

O'Bryant offered that the Lions hoped that other organizations would step forward to continue the event but at this point that has not occurred.

He added that unfortunately, like many service-oriented organizations, the Lions Club no longer has enough members able to organize and carryout such a large event.

Talbert concluded, “I'd just like to thank the Lions Club and you for all the years you have done it.”

Growing Opportunity for Farmers

Continuing with announcements, Supervisor Stish shared that the Old Dominion Resource Conservation and Development Council and FDC Enterprises, Inc. will be hosting an informational program for people interested in growing or participating in the Farms to Fuels Project.

She explained the project involves growing warm season grasses for the sake of using them for fuels.

Stish said the program would be held on Wednesday, March 6, 6 p.m., at the Heartland Regional Business Park, which is located off Route 360 in Keysville. [To register, call (434)547-0540 or]

Public Comments

Eddie Slagle led the public participation segment by commenting on the sheriff's effort to raise money for the purchase of a new K9 to replace the one that retired last year.

Acknowledging that funds are in short supply, Slagle told supervisors, “It's just a shame that the sheriff's office has to go into the community to solicit donations for something that is this important.”

Noting that the K9 would be a dog trained in illegal substances detection as well as search and rescue, Slagle shared that he planned to donate in memory of his mother-in-law who had Alzheimer's.

“I don't know if you realize how important this is to the community not only the drug aspect of it but also the search and rescue,” stated Slagle. “This dog could save your life or a member of your family's life.”

Addressing supervisors, he said he hoped they would see fit to do something as a board or make monetary donations on their own.

Slagle shared that TRIAD, an organization that works with law enforcement and the Attorney General's Office for the protection of disabled and senior citizens, would match donations up to $3,500.

According to Slagle, Wise Ridge Country Store is sponsoring a community yard sale on March 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and would be contributing the $25 fee donated by those wanting a 10-foot-by-10-foot space to the sheriff's dog fund.

When Supervisor Talbert asked about the cost of the K9, Slagle explained that according to a letter Sheriff Kidd sent to area businesses, the dog, training, and equipment would cost approximately $10,000.

The second speaker, a District 2 resident, asked for the board's help with a problem involving excessive noise from barking hound dogs that are kept next to his property.

Sharing his frustration, the speaker said he understood that the old noise ordinance could not address the issue but the recently revised ordinance does.

He thanked Supervisor Donnie Bryan for coming by his home to listen to the noise that he said he and his wife have listened to for the last two and a-half years. Concluding, he stated, “I appreciate anything you can do for us.”