by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
IRVINGTON—The Irvington Town Council wants more information before backing a campaign by four waterfront businesses to establish a no wake zone on a portion of Carter Creek.
Crockett’s Landing, Rappahannock River Yacht Club, West Irvington Yacht Club and Rappahannock Yacht Services are the abutting shoreline businesses hoping to have four buoys signaling boat wake restrictions placed in the northern branch of Carter Creek. The no wake zone would not effect the entire creek, only the northern branch leading from the Rappahannock River to The Tides Inn.
The businesses, referred to as “the consortium,” asked the town to draft a letter of support for the zone to the Lancaster board of supervisors which would then hold a public hearing on the matter. If approved by the county, the request will then be sent to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Council had directed town administrator Roy Kime in February to investigate the request further. But councilman Wayne Nunnally was concerned Kime was doing all the work for the consortium.
“Are they paying you for your time,” asked Nunnally, who said it was up to the “consortium” to gather facts and make the presentation.
According to Kime, the requesting landowners would be responsible for 75% of the cost of the buoys, and the town would kick in the final quarter of the cost.
“Roy doesn’t need to be digging up prices” for them, said Nunnally, who made a motion to table the request for support. Councilman Jerry Lattell seconded the motion.
Rappahannock River Yacht Club owner Bruce Sanders addressed council about the zone in February and reiterated last week “the need for it.”
Sanders said he wanted citizens to be aware the no wake zone did not effect the entire creek but only the main branch of Carter Creek, where there is “heavy traffic heading up to the Tides Inn,” he said.
During discussion, councilman Mike Merrill asked town attorney Wes Charlton about the town’s liability and maintenance of the zone. Charlton said there are issues that need to be addressed, including an indemnification clause, which would keep the town from incurring any loss.
“Maintenance of a no wake zone is a whole bunch of issues,” said Merrill.
The motion to table passed unanimously with council member Fran Westbrook, councilman Mike Bombay, council member Kathleen Pollard, Merrill, Nunnally and Lattell voting in favor.
Following a 15-minute discussion, council also voted unanimously to change Kime’s title from town administrator and zoning administrator to town manager, a more commonly recognized title, according to Merrill, who made the motion.
Westbrook argued that by naming someone town manager there is a list of “stalls” that fall under that job description he will have to do, and those are already being done by Mayor Ralph “Rannie” Ransone.
Charlton assured council that it could change Kime’s title while leaving his job description as is with his existing duties intact.
“We are dealing only with semantics here,” said Charlton.
Ransone said, while he appreciated Westbrook’s defense of his duties, he was in favor of the title change and felt assured it would not “take away from anything I do.”
Bombay seconded Merrill’s motion.
In other business, council voted unanimously to draft a letter of recognition and appreciation to Gordon Slatford, who recently retired as general manager of the Tides Inn Resort and Spa.
Lara Brown and Andrea Lattell were granted permission to use the Town Commons the week of July 30 to hold a British soccer camp for area youths. The camp is run by Challenger Sports. Nunnally moved to allow the use of the Commons but to include a liability waiver. Bombay made the second.
Susan Cockrell followed a 20-minute presentation about the Virginia River Realm tourism campaign with a request of council.
“As you are looking at your budget and budget planning, we would like to ask you for $5,000,” said Cockrell.
She first came to the Irvington Town Council with a funding request four years ago at which time she understood they could not financially support it. The campaign is a joint tourism effort between Lancaster and Middlesex counties and is financially supported by both county governments, along with the towns of Kilmarnock and Urbanna and the Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Virginia River Realm “rolled out in late 2016,” said Cockrell, and in one year has reached some 342,000 people through print and online media in its promotion of businesses and recreation in Lancaster and Middlesex counties.