Supervisors hear road requests

Published 12:38 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Three people asked for Route 744 to be repaired by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) during the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors’ Dec. 13 meeting. The residents spoke during public participation portion of the meeting, asking that the route, also known as Whispering Woods Road, be added to a six-year plan for rural rustic roads. As an alternative, they asked for it to be considered for improvements in coming years.

Wade Bartlett

Wade Bartlett

The citizens asked for blacktop-gravel and tar to be added to the road to decrease mud. These requests were heard for the first time a week earlier at a Hampden District Town Hall Meeting hosted by Hampden District Supervisor Odessa Pride.

During the board meeting, other highway matters were discussed, including a request by County Administrator Wade Bartlett for supervisors to bring a list of priorities for the six-year plan to the next meeting.

Bartlett also announced that a decision about changing the speed limit on Abilene Road, Route 604, has yet to be made by VDOT.

“Abilene Road evaluation is on schedule. It hasn’t been completed but it should be any day,” Bartlett said.

As of Monday, VDOT Resident Engineer Scot Shippee said he had not heard back on an Abilene Road recommendation.

“I know they were working towards getting something out this month,” he said.

The change request stems from months of requests by the board for VDOT to reconsider the speed limit. Most recently, Bartlett, Pride and Buffalo District Supervisor C.R “Bob” Timmons took a “ride-along” on the road to further examine and discuss their concerns. VDOT has declined to alter the speed on previous occasions, but the board has been consistent in continuing its requests.

Also during the Dec. 13 meeting, Bartlett updated the board on the pending formation of the Piedmont Regional Jail Authority, which the board voted on that evening. He also brought forward a request from the jail to adjust the Farmville town boundary.

The board voted unanimously to approve the jail authority formation, but tabled the boundary adjustment request pending further details. The request stemmed from a desire to be included within the town of Farmville’s boundaries in order to save the jail water and sewer fees.

Bartlett recommended the board hold off on a decision for several reasons. First, he said a previous boundary adjustment approval has yet to be completed and he wants to see that closed before adding another. He also said he would like to see the jail authority finalized before any decision about the boundary. Bartlett also expressed concern about the adjustment possibly negatively impacting residents of Farmville who, he said, would be the ones losing money from the exchange.

In addition to these reasons, Bartlett said there are changes coming in regard to prices for large users of water and sewage utilities that could lower costs for the jail.

The board agreed and tabled the conversation until its January meeting.

In other business, the board reappointed Donald Gilliam and Preston Hunt to continue serving on the planning commission for another term, each ending in 2020. Gilliam and Hunt have served previously and will complete their current terms on Dec. 30.

There were no applicants for the Prince Edward County Board of Zoning Appeals for the seat vacated by Vincent Eanes, so the board could not vote on a recommendation.