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No action on road request
County supervisors asked to add road to state system
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
By BEN R. WILLIAMS - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday heard a request from Wanda Kosterlytzky to add Milhorn Drive to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) secondary road system and become state maintained.
Kosterlytzky lives on Milhorn Drive, which connects to Deer Trail Road in the Reed Creek District of the county.
Milhorn Drive has “had a significant increase in occupants and utilization by the public over the past several years,” Kosterlytzky said. “The condition of the road has seriously deteriorated and unfortunately, the residents — many of them disabled, a couple of them terminally ill — are on financial assistance and just don’t have the means to maintain the road.”
Kosterlytzky mentioned a host of concerns regarding the condition of the road, which has eight occupied homes. She said it is a steep dirt road and nearly impassable in poor weather; it is not easily accessible for emergency vehicles; there is no outlet for escape in the event of a fire; and it is not consistent with GPS units or online maps, which incorrectly claim that it connects with Oak Level Road.
Lee Clark, Henry County director of planning, zoning and inspections, said it is a long, drawn-out process to add a road to the VDOT secondary roads system, and the board of supervisors cannot do it alone.
Kosterlytzky previously had asked if Milhorn could be added under VDOT’s Rural Rustic Road Program, but Clark said that program generally is intended for roads already in the state system.
Another program, Clark said, was the Rural Addition Program, although it has not been funded for 14 years.
“That’s a partnership between both the county and the state where you can take 5 percent of your state secondary road allocations and put it toward rural additions,” Clark said. “If I’m not mistaken, the last time I looked, our allocation this year was something like $150,000, and if you take 5 percent of that, it’s not much money at all.”
Based on his experience, Clark said, paving the road could cost between $60,000 and $100,000. That figure did not include the necessary survey and design work that easily could double that cost, he said.
The most viable option for the road, Clark said, would be to develop it as a private road, paid for by the residents with their own private funds.
“Then VDOT can accept it into the state system — not that they would, but they can,” he said. “This road is something that was built ... way before the county had any ordinances dealing with subdivisions, zoning, anything like that.”
When asked by Reed Creek District Supervisor T.J. “Tommy” Slaughter how many other roads in the county were in similar condition, Clark estimated that there were 12 to 18, several of them likely in worse condition than Milhorn Drive.
Also at its 3 p.m. meeting, the board of supervisors:
• Awarded contracts for mitigation bank credits for Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre (CCBC). The credits are necessary to compensate for the environmental impact of the site’s construction on surrounding streams and wetlands.
The credits, which are contingent upon the Army Corps of Engineers providing a grading permit for CCBC, were awarded to Roanoke River Wetlands & Stream Mitigation Bank, Banister Bend Mitigation Bank and North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program.
The total cost of the contracts is $1,324,180.25, which will come out of funds previously budgeted for CCBC.
• Heard a presentation of accreditation to the Martinsville-Henry County 911 Center. Ken Crumpler of the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services, formally presented accreditation to J.R. Powell, director of the center.
Crumpler said the center earned accreditation through its professionalism and commitment to providing emergency medical dispatch and prearrival instructions to callers. Crumpler said there are only 31 other accredited 911 centers in Virginia.
“Providing that emergency medical dispatch information to the caller is not mandated in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Crumpler said. “It has to be a voluntary effort by the locality to do so. That speaks even more highly for the jurisdictions that do provide it.”
“Our staff deserves all the credit for this,” Powell said. “It took a lot of work and a lot of training.”
• Approved a proclamation establishing April 2014 as “Child Abuse Prevention Month” in Henry County.
Teresa Prillaman of the Martinsville Exchange Club had requested the proclamation. Prillaman said that in April, the club will place 102 American flags in and around Roselawn Burial Park, representing the number of deaths in Virginia in 2013 linked to child abuse.
• Heard an update from Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) President/CEO Mark Heath.
Heath said that the EDC is going through the process of pricing and planning the construction of the Kilgour Industries facility at Patriot Centre at Beaver Creek industrial park. The construction project is on schedule to begin this summer, Heath said.
• Heard an update on delinquent tax collection efforts from county Treasurer Scott Grindstaff.
Grindstaff said that as of Feb. 28, the county had collected 90.94 percent of 2013 personal property taxes and 89.57 percent of 2013 real estate taxes.
• Heard informational items, including a report from County Administrator Tim Hall.
Hall said that county staff will present the board with a proposed fiscal year 2015 budget on April 2. There will be a budget work session on April 5 and a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. April 14 at the Henry County Administration Building.
Additionally, Hall said that April 29 has been chosen as the date for the Philpott Marina ribbon cutting, which will take place at 2 p.m. All boat slips at the marina now have been rented, Hall said.
• Approved a $1,279 funding appropriation request from county Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester to buy computer hardware and software for his office.
• Awarded a $51,876 contract to Adams Construction Inc. of Danville for asphalt paving work at Philpott Marina. Money for the project is included in the marina fund.
• Awarded a $29,474.53 purchasing contract to Municipal Emergency Services Inc. of Chesapeake for firefighting gear for use by the Department of Public Safety supplemental staff.
• Accepted a competitive grant of $366,246 from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for the purchase and installation of generators at three Public Service Authority booster pumping stations.
• Went into a closed session. No actions were taken after the closed session.
At the board’s 6 p.m. meeting, the supervisors:
• Heard an update on general highway matters from VDOT resident engineer Lisa Hughes.
Hughes said VDOT will present a six-year plan at the supervisors’ April 22 regular monthly meeting.
Last year at the same time, she said, legislation recently had passed which she had hoped would give VDOT a funding increase beginning in fiscal year 2017. However, she said, that increase has not materialized, and as a result, she did not recommend adding any new projects.
• Opened the floor to matters presented by the public, of which there were none.