Town OKs improvements plan

After months of planning and meetings, the town of Woodstock has adopted its 2016-2022 Capital Improvements Plan.

The town adopted the plan with a unanimous 5-0 vote at Tuesday night’s council meeting. Councilwoman Alicia Gutshall was absent from the meeting.

Town Manager Reid Wodicka said, “I’m just very pleased that we were able to create a capital plan that thoughtfully plans investments that we need to make for our community long-term.”

In total, the plan covers the years of 2016 to 2022, and includes more than $9 million in planned improvement projects, which will largely be funded through the issuance of debt service.

A little more than 48 percent of the projects are focused on infrastructure improvements, totaling $4.4 million over the seven-year stretch of the plan.

“We have a number of concerns with both our water and our sewer systems,” Wodicka said, mentioning the town’s planned upgrades to its water treatment plant.

“The way the plan was devised was to take a look at all of the needs in the organization and figure out, ‘how do we fund the ones that we can?” Wodicka said. “Many of those needs were infrastructure related.”

The plan also calls for more than $3.4 million in upgrades to amenities in the town’s neighborhoods, which constitutes 37 percent of the plan.

Another major project the town will look to complete with the plan is renovating the Old Woodstock School into a new town municipal office.

“I’m just excited to implement the plan over the next several years,” Wodicka said.

The town has already begun implementing portions of the plan, with a $10,000 project to increase the width of the town’s waterlines between the north side of town to the south side.

“Right now, we are working on a section that runs up Tower Avenue, turns on to Locust Street and then connects to the backside of Sunset Crest,” Wodicka said.

Wodicka said the town expects the project to be completed by the end of this month.

Once completed, Wodicka said the new waterlines will allow the town to pump more water, with the lines increasing in width from 4 inches to 8 inches.

“Enlarging the pipes allows for more water to flow through,” Wodicka said.

Also on Tuesday, Wodicka mentioned that the town is working with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to “receive funding back for some of the damage to the public structures” it incurred from the July 13 flooding.

As a result of the flood, the town assessed damages to public buildings at $24,000.

“The county is taking care of the private structure damage,” Wodicka said. Reports from the flooding indicated damage estimates of $1.92 million for private structures.

Wodicka said, “Right now, we’re making sure that all of our documentation is accurate and correct, and that we have justification for the expenditures.”

Additional meeting notes:

• The town declared Aug. 11 as the 10th anniversary celebration for its Tree Board.

Angela Clem, Assistant Town Manager and Tree Board member, said next week’s celebration will include a cookout as well as a gathering of past and present board members.

Since the board was formed in 2005, it has increased the town’s urban canopy as well as received recognition from Tree City USA with a Growth Award for its focus on urban trees.

Clem said the board is looking to make use of an Urban and Community Forestry Grant through United States Forest Service to do an urban tree canopy for the town.

“We’re very excited to have an idea of what our tree inventory make-up is,” Clem said, noting this will give the town an assessment tool for tree health in the future.

• Jane’s Garden sculpture selected

Beth Funkhouser, of the Woodstock Enhancements Committee, said the committee chose a sculpture from Craig Grey, an artist from Key West, Florida, to reside in the newly constructed pocket park on Main Street.

Funkhouser said, “The sculpture … is entitled ‘Pac-Man.’ It’s a 7-foot-tall sculpture that is made out of stacked rocks.”

Funkhouser said the sculpture should be installed next week, while Grey is visiting the area.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com