Insurance won’t replace trees destroyed on Irvington Commons

by Audrey Thomasson

IRVINGTON—With the loss of half of its century-old trees from a tornado on April 6, the town commons looks rather barren, and it will be some time before the majestic trees that once provided a carpet of cover from the hot summer sun are replaced.

While the town’s insurance claim after the storm totaled just $23,955.34, the loss of the trees cannot be measured in financial terms.

According to town administrator Roy Kime, insurance covered $12,500 for tree removal. Other covered items included $3,634 for a new shed, $7,200 for a new flag pole and $621 in electrical repairs.

“We received $19,332.50 from the insurance company,” reported Kime at the August 10 town council meeting. He noted the remaining amount will be paid once invoices are provided.

However, insurance will not cover replacement of the trees.

According to Fran Westbrook, council member and head of the committee to design new plans for the commons, the trees will be replaced as part of the new design. Westbrook reported she is still looking for citizens to serve on the committee.

In other business, Kime reported the Virginia Department of Transportation has spent $150,000 on sidewalk repairs. VDOT plans to return in September or October to finish the work on sidewalks under its jurisdiction.

“Carter White (VDOT area administrator) will help the town identify work needed on town sidewalks,” he added.

“They haven’t marked the parking spaces on the road,” noted Michael Bombay, during discussion on VDOT’s recent repaving project along Irvington Road.

Kime said he will look into that and replacement of stop signs and other signage removed during the repaving work.

Also, he reported that Chesapeake Academy has dropped plans to place new banners on power poles in front of the school and will keep any signage on school property.

Councilman Mike Merrill said the planning commission will hold a public hearing on a planned unit development (PUD) ordinance at 6:30 p.m. September 5 at Irvington Baptist Church. According to Kime, Ukrops-owned property at the Dog and Oyster Vineyard and adjoining property at Irvington Farms may be rezoned from R-2, which requires two-acre parcels, to the PUD, which allows smaller lots with common green areas.

Council set a workshop for 5:30 p.m. September 9 in town hall to discuss a financial policy and employee policy manual.