PE Revisits Lake Use, Again Gives Its Okay

Published 3:42 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PRINCE EDWARD – County supervisors approved the Town of Farmville's request to use Mottley Lake as an emergency water supply in February, but-at the request of Vice-Chairman Supervisor Howard Simpson-took a second look at the board's March 12 meeting.

Supervisors, per Simpson's March 12 motion, agreed to give the Town a permit to use the lake in drought emergency through December and to have the county administrator put the issue in the board packet for December to allow the Town to withdraw water from the lake January 1, 2014 through December of the same year and for it “to be approved”.

It is a small change from the board's February action, but one that warranted some brief discussion.

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Supervisors, on a 5-2 vote (with Chairman William “Buckie” Fore and Simpson opposing) in February, had approved Farmville's request for a two-year extension on the County's approval to use the lake as a temporary water supply-extending it to the end of 2014.

Farmville District (801) Supervisor Pattie Cooper-Jones prior to action questioned the need for the change, noting “…if we keep it as what it was presented in February's meeting for two years then we don't have to go back and redo it.”
Chairman Fore offered last week that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has a policy of permitting use for one year only.

“The Town of Farmville asked for an extension of a permit that had ended for two years,” he said. “When the thing came up last month, both Howard and I voted against it because we knew that it had to be for a year. There was no discussion on it because things were pretty heated at the time.”

The motion, Fore added, permits the Town for the remainder of this year “and kind of puts us in a position of warning for an extension by the year, beginning in January through December of 2014.”

Simpson's motion was approved 5-1, though Cooper-Jones opposed. (Supervisors Charles McKay and Jim Wilck were not present. Chairman Fore explained they were a little bit under the weather.)

Public Hearing

Supervisors held a public hearing for citizens to present the names of school board candidates for Farmville District (701) and the Hampden District. Individuals from those districts interested in serving also had the option of contacting board-appointed citizens committees.

There were no speakers and no names presented at the public hearing.

The committee is expected to interview prospective candidates and report a list of candidates to the board of supervisors in April.

Highway Matters

Virginia Department of Transportation Residency Administrator Kevin Wright presented an update on several highway projects in the County. Among the highlights:

*Pavement marking and sign changes will come to the intersection of Scott and Briery roads “to better delineate that intersection,” some reflectors will be installed on Route 307.

*The Route 15 project has been advertised and has a March 2014 completion date; a pave-in-place project for Route 601 has been bid and Wright offered that they were pleased the with low bids on the project. It still has to go through the process of award. That project has an August 2013 completion date.

*Wright assessed that there was some confusion on the Route 15 project as to what rework has to be done to tie into the County's (Route 786) project. At about 200 feet north of the Route 786 intersection, he cited, “from that point south, the contractor…will simply put about a three inch overlay over that existing road to bring it up to the grade that we need it to be.” Wright explained that there would be no full reconstruction from that point south. From the 200-foot mark to the Commerce Road intersection, “that road will actually-all of that will have to be torn out and rebuilt to get the road to the proper grade. So some of the work that you did in that area as part of your project was a temporary tie-in but it did keep…us having to redo that whole 786 intersection completely as we reconstructed ours. So there will be some slight reconstruction there.”

*VDOT responders were set to meet with police, law enforcement, sheriff's department, fire and rescue, tow truck providers and other individuals to discuss emergency incident response and roadway clearance.

*Bloomfield Road (Route 667) should be underway for bridge repairs, Wright reported. It is expected to reopen around the first of June.

*And, at the request of Bartlett, Wright discussed easements as they relate to subdivision roads. For subdivision roads that are intended to come into the state system-where the developer believes they will eventually meet the criteria for state service-or a locally administered project, any easement or right-of-way has to be dedicated for public use.

“And, since it's not a VDOT project, that easement and that right-of-way does not get dedicated to VDOT because VDOT may never maintain that road. So that leaves the only other option for the dedication of those easements to the County,” Wright said, noting they're dedicated to public use.

It does not mean in the case of a drainage easement, he detailed, that the County has to maintain that. “It's just simply to give us, the developer, the homeowner's association or whoever needs to go in there and open a ditch up to keep water draining from one side of the road to the other. If that drainage easement isn't there and dedicated to public use, then there's nothing that can be done and the road would eventually flood,” Wright said.

He offered that is' “no different” than having a utility easement across your property.

Prospect Supervisor Howard “Pete” Campbell expressed appreciation for VDOT's taking care of a tree on Route 693.

In Other News…

*Henry Shelton, speaking in the public comment portion of the meeting, took issue with the non-inclusion of important County phone numbers in the telephone directory. He suggested sending specific information to every address in the county.

It was noted that the County switched providers. Bartlett offered that people think that the phone book, is a government entity, but that it is not. He reported that they switched providers over two years ago and that the courthouse numbers were included the previous year.

“So it was a surprise to all of us that they were not placed in there this year,” Bartlett commented. “We've already started that process to make sure they're in next year.”

Asked about how much they saved by switching carriers, Bartlett said they saved at least $30,000, “probably more.”

If the county were to send notices to residents, there would be a cost; it was noted that local governments do not have franking privileges.

Shelton also raised concerns about the County's discussion on a possible commercial cannery. (The board discussed the issue at their February meeting and agreed to seek a planning grant to study a regional facility.) He offered that it is unclear whether the taxpayer would share in the profits produced by the arrangement.

*The board approved a consent agenda that included a budget amendment and an appropriation of funds for bulletproof vests for the sheriff's office. A 50 percent grant that aids in the purchase was received last year. The County-having funded $11,300 toward vest purchases last year-is chipping in $2,635 in the current budget.

The consent agenda also included an $11,000 appropriation from the general fund balance (or half) of the funds to pay to the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) to update the County's Comprehensive plan.

*Supervisors agreed to advertise a list of positions that will come open for appointment (though most of those currently holding the positions are eligible for reappointment). The list includes vacancies on the board of appeals for building code, Prince Edward County Industrial Development Authority, Poplar Hill Community Development Authority, Social Services Board, and Southside Virginia Community College Board.

*The board appointed Justine Young to serve as the county's representative to the Old Dominion RC&D.