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Posted March 10, 2011 | comments 12 Comments

Town acquires 7 acres of land for $100,000

By Amber Marra - amarra@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- The town will purchase 7 acres of land for $100,000 to connect two of its main subdivisions.

At a Town Council meeting Tuesday night, the panel voted 5-3 to go ahead with the purchase, with Councilmen Don Le Vine, Justin Ritenour and Richard Orndorff Jr. in opposition.

Before the vote occurred, there was some question as to whether a closed session should be held to discuss the specifics of the acquisition.

Councilman Bob Baker pointed out that because much of the negotiations regarding the contract were complete it would be a Freedom of Information Act violation to discuss buying the property further in closed session. After Town Attorney Jay Neal read the portion of the act pertaining to discussing the purchase of property twice, and Town Manager Judson Rex answered a few questions about what needed to be discussed within the closed session, the council as a whole voted to move on in public among curious murmurs from the audience.

The property in question is 7 acres between the Crystal Hill and Madison Heights subdivisions that never got the final approval to be constructed, most likely because of the negative turn in the economy, Rex said. The subdivision would have been planned around a road, but because it was never completed, the road was never built to connect the other two subdivisions.

Rex also pointed out that purchasing the land for $100,000 right now would most likely be significantly cheaper than waiting because another interested property owner could potentially buy it. That would prevent Strasburg from connecting its two main subdivisions, which would be "a very important connection for the town's community plan," Rex said. He also added that the original price was $139,000.

The final price still did not sit well with Le Vine.

"It will probably be available in the future, and $100,000 is a lot in this day and age when every dollar is precious and given what we are asking of our citizens in regard to fees and taxes," he said.

There was also concern among the council members in favor of buying the property that throwing away the option to buy it now would only harm the potential to connect Strasburg in the future.

"I don't know why you want to stab that in the heart," said Councilman Scott Terndrup. "This is an excellent opportunity for the town to move forward and I fully support it."
Aside from building a road to connect the two subdivisions, there is also the possibility of placing a park in that area or eventually a water storage tank. Though he voted in favor of purchasing the property, Baker felt that the funding to do so should come strictly from the town's general fund and should only come from the water fund if the water tank plan comes to fruition.

The contract to purchase the 7 acres should be closed by the end of the month, Rex said.

12 Comments | Leave a comment

    Once again, I am in a state of disbelief at the recent action by "our" Council! The Town is struggling financially. Crippling fees and taxes are being foisted on the residents, and the Council votes to spend $100,000 to buy land. And the reason given: to connect two subdivisions. (Or maybe it's really the water tower!?)

    You people are nuts! We don't have the money ... isn't that what you've been telling us for two years? AND, don't any of you remember the "Strasburg Bypass" fiasco from a few years back? Do you not remember how vehemently opposed to that road the affected residents of both Crystal Hill and Madison Heights were? Have you forgotten the very troublesome and EXPENSIVE VDOT issues, the opposition of the emergency services, the petitions, the anger?

    Why no public hearing on this issue? Because you don't remember? Or don't care? Or just because you didn't legally have to?

    Kudos to Councilman Le Vine, Ritenour and Orndorff for their opposing votes!! The rest of you are nuts!!

    Wasteful! We've been through putting a road in before. I hope the council and town manager are ready for a fight, because as I remember a road was not popular...If only they had put the road in at Crim Drive like the comprehensive plan said, this would be a non issue. So much for the usefulness of Comprehensive plans. I will watch with interest the fight to ensue over building a road/bridge again...
    I'd love to know where a park would go...and who will pay to maintain it...and I'm sure the citizens will love a water tower right next to their homes...interesting.

    This looks like another get-it-while-you-can at a good price real estate deal. Remember the brill property bargain. That went over real big!
    If the need for this property is for only a road to connect the two developments, than why throw in all the distractions of a future park and water tank to sell the deal. That just muddies the water.
    The land is already zoned for housing. The Town Designer could route a new corridor for the road needed and let the developers design their project around it. The developers would eventually build the road and the town would save $100,000.
    This is not the first time the town has been behind the curve. If they were on the ball, they would design all the main road corridors before the land was ever developed. So, I guess we will continue to pay for this kind of hindsight.

    here we go again...

    "The property in question is 7 acres between the Crystal Hill and Madison Heights subdivisions that never got the final approval to be constructed..."

    I appreciate the way you've planned to raised the speed limit and traffic volume on Dickerson Lane. Is the town going to widen the Dickerson to handle the increased flow of through traffic? Currently only one car can pass when residents park on the street. I expect you'll bulldoze my front yard to pursue your "Community Plan".

    Way to "PLAN" Strasburg... Where where the "Planners" when Crim, could have easily been extended to connect with Crystal Hill?


    Thanks to Councilmen LeVine, Ritenour, and Orndorff for voting no on this purchase. Council bought the Brill property and it just sits there. When this came up before there was alot of opposition to it. The council needs to LISTEN to the citizens and stop digging us further in debt.

    For once I'm speechless!

    So, when is the next elections? I guess its time to dust off the old petition files and get this town to understand that they are not doing their job that they were elected for. I believe its time to run for office again. Your actions clearly show the pure arrogance that you possess. I applaud the council members that voted against it.

    I'll vote for you Rob, run against Swafford, he's up this November.

    @ Kim and IIWII. Thanks for the replies. I will keep you guys in mind later this year. Its frustrating that all we ask for is the town council to think of the people that they represent.

    Okay, now we are purchasing land with money the town does not have...also, I bet that the town does not have comphrensive plan and this is just a whim of the moment. The town needs to develop a compressive land use plan and make it available on line for the residents to have access to read. But most important the town council needs to stick with the plan.

    But better yet stop spending money you do not have for things Strasburg does not need.

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