by Madison White Franks
LANCASTER—The Lancaster board of supervisors approved the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Six-Year-Plan for secondary road improvements, with an estimated budget of $250,154.
Roads expected to be paved are, by priority, Coleman Lane, Courtney Road, Smith Lane, Dymer Beach Drive, Daniel Drive, Pine Circle, Hudnall Lane, Green Road and Norris Road.
VDOT representative Carter White said the work should begin in June 2017.
District 3 supervisor Jason Bellows moved to approve the budget and District 1 supervisor Butch Jenkins, District 2 supervisor Ernest Palin Jr., District 4 supervisor Bill Lee and District 5 supervisor Wally Beachamp supported the motion.
Steve Kimmeth of Grafton thanked VDOT for a job well done. Kimmeth said he has property in Irvington off one of the secondary roads and VDOT has been helpful with maintenance and communication.
VDOT Lancaster supervisor Robert Harper informed the board that a contractor will soon be replacing or repairing guardrails from Chinns Mill to Lancaster.
He also noted VDOT is working to improve communication with the public regarding ferry operations. Beginning sometime in 2017, a system will be in place to allow the ferry operator to call him and he can place a message on a newly installed electronic board indicating any communication to the public about the ferry, said Harper.
He also indicated VDOT is ready for snow with 26 plows and plenty of salt for the roads.
School facilities chairman Jimmie Carter reported to the board on information that has been gathered during recent public meetings.
“We want to be open and transparent to the public,” said Carter.
Public consensus shows an interest to establish schools on a combined campus, he said.
“We think there are functional savings to be had if we had the schools combined and close together, especially with auditoriums and kitchens,” said Carter. “There is a long-term benefit for consolidating the schools.”
He told the board there are two potential sites for the schools, behind the middle school and on Harris Road across from the YMCA.
“We will be talking to the property owners to figure out how much they could sell the property for,” said Carter.
He said VMDO Architects from Charlottesville has been helping to develop a plan and what would be best for the county, but their contract will most likely end in February.
“I’m not opposed to bricks and mortar but I just don’t want to have more bricks and more mortar than what we need to have,” said Jenkins.
“We don’t want to overbuild anything,” said Carter.
“There are certain things we can do in this limited society and certain things we can’t do,” said Jenkins.
“We have a responsibility to our taxpayers,” said Carter.
“Going forward, I think it is very important to have this kind of dialogue,” said Bill Lee.
The board also approved:
• A request from Gerald and Kirsten Gotthardt to build a two-story dwelling on the site of the old Weems post office at 3960 Weems Road.
• A request from Benjamin and Lauren Leo to expand an existing one-story dwelling to a two-story at 583 Moran Creek Road in Weems.
Supervisors also reappointed Bill Lee as chairman and Ernest Palin Jr. as vice chairman for 2017.