County to hear from public on roads plan

By Alex Bridges

Residents of Shenandoah Farms have a chance Tuesday to speak on a plan to improve some of the neighborhood roads.

The Warren County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the 2013 Capital Improvement Plan for the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The plan outlines a list of several dozen projects eyed for the sanitary district in the coming year at a total estimated cost of $3.93 million. Of that amount, $3.72 million comes by way of the Virginia Department of Transportation Rural Addition Revenue Sharing programs. The $3.72 million includes an estimated cost share of $1.03 million that the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District would contribute.

Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District includes approximately 42 miles of roadway. The plan as proposed seeks to improve 2.38 miles of road in the district. That equates to $1.65 million per mile.

The list calls for improvements to sections of Fellows Drive, Tomahawk Way, Youngs Drive, Mountain Lake, Old Oak Lane, Pine Ridge Road and Farms View Road.

Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress, who also serves as the district’s interim manager, said recently that he anticipates that VDOT will approve the remaining program projects.

“Based on VDOT’s current Rural Addition criteria and the types of projects they have approved in the past, we feel confident they will approve the remaining projects in the plan as well,” Childress stated in an email. “Of course, a part of the VDOT approval/acceptance process will require them to tie into an existing VDOT maintained roadways, as these will once the priority projects ahead of them are completed.”

VDOT approved four of the Rural Addition projects before the development of the capital improvement plan, Childress said. This allowed for the county to begin preliminary engineering and acquisition of rights-of-way early, he added.

“We are hopeful to be able to construct and pave at least one Rural Addition project per year as funding permits,” Childress stated in the email. “Over the past two and upcoming fiscal years we have budgeted funding for Rural Addition projects. This designated funding as well as unused funding from previous fiscal year budgets will be applied to these CIP projects.

County officials hope to begin construction on the projects this summer, Childress noted.

“Based on our preliminary estimates, we are hopeful the budgeted monies discussed above will cover our share of the cost of these first four projects,” Childress stated.

The plan also calls for 10 initiatives that include such district-wide improvements as new signs and guardrails as well as preliminary engineering for larger future projects. District property owners would fund these improvements at an estimated total cost of $217,500.

The board of the Property Owners of Shenandoah Farms endorsed the capital improvement plan at its regular meeting March 9.

The action came months after the county finalized a road and drainage study on the sanitary district that pinpointed areas in need of repair or maintenance.

Owners of property in the sanitary district pay annual dues to the county rather than to a homeowners association. Owners pay $205 for each unimproved lot or $240 per improved lot.

County officials and neighborhood representatives say the plan ultimately will help improve most of the roads in the subdivision. But the process will take time as the county improves each road to state standards. Once improved, VDOT can accept and add the road to the routes the state maintains. Then the county can proceed to the next private road and continue the process, officials have explained.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com