Warren County board OKs road plans

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County leaders adopted plans for road improvement projects Tuesday though funding remains uncertain.

The Board of Supervisors held public hearings on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Six-Year Plan for Secondary Road Improvements for fiscal 2016-2021 and the construction budget for fiscal 2016, and for the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District Capital Improvement Plan.

The board heard a presentation from Ed Carter, assistant residency administrator in Edinburg. The county plan doesn’t include significant changes from the list adopted for the current fiscal year, Carter said.

Carter and Terry Short, district planning manager for the Staunton District, also talked to the board about the new scoring method by which the state would prioritize funding to local road projects.

“I think the intent [of the system] is good,” Carter said. “Hopefully, the methodology that’s going to be used is equally as good. I think there will be some growing pains.”

Supervisor Archie Fox surmised that the scoring system would take the politics out of the way the state funds road projects and level the playing field. Carter said that was the intent of the legislation. Supervisor Tony Carter voiced skepticism.

“Good luck with that, taking the politics out,” Carter said.

While the Six-Year Plan and construction budget show funding for some projects in various years, Carter advised that the numbers come from revenue estimates for those fiscal periods. As such, the amounts can change from year to year. In some cases, the plan includes projects that remain unfunded.

Herb Dunkle, of Linden, spoke at the public hearing held on the VDOT plan. Dunkle criticized state officials for failing to push forward a project to pave Richardson Road. The project was put on the Six-Year Plan for the period beginning in 1986. Almost 30 years later, the project has been pushed back to 2023, Dunkle said, citing VDOT’s plans. Dunkle asked that the county move up the Richardson Road paving project.

The board adopted the resolution to approve the new Six-Year Plan.

Supervisors also unanimously approved the Fiscal 2016 Shenandoah Farms Capital Improvement Plan. Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress gave a presentation on the district road plan. The county set up the plan in 2013 to prioritize projects aimed at upgrading gravel roads and drainage systems through the rural neighborhood, then hand over maintenance to VDOT. The board updates the plan each fiscal year as the county completes projects. VDOT covers half the cost of most major projects, while the county and property owners pay for the rest. Property owners also cover the entire cost of other, smaller projects in the plan.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:
• Approved an agreement to adjust part of the boundary line with Fauquier County near Chester Gap to bring approximately a half-acre into Warren County. Larry Andrews asked that supervisors bring the piece of his property into Warren County. No one spoke at the public hearing on the request. Fauquier County leaders also must approve the adjustment.
• Vacated a 0.7-acre portion of a right-of-way in the Meadow section of Shenandoah Farms. No one spoke at the public hearing held on the matter.
• Approved a request by Wayne A. Burklund for a conditional-use permit for private-use camping on property he owns in the Shenandoah Farms Riverview subdivision. No one spoke at the public hearing held on the request.
• Approved a request by Matthew and Amy Filling, and William and Rebecca Barvick to rezone approximately 10 acres of property they own from residential to agricultural use. Neighboring property owners had their land rezoned from residential to agricultural use years ago. Amy Filling told the board the applicants want to bring their properties in line with the neighborhood zoning. The rezoning would allow the Fillings to keep horses on their property.
• Approved a change order or unforeseen expense to extend the implementation process of the EnerGov building inspections software at a cost of $15,600

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