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Motorsport camp steers to Clover

Camp Motorsport is coming to Clover. Halifax County Supervisors unanimously gave the green light Monday night for Summerfield Realty Group, LLC to operate the youth and adult camp on Mount Laurel Road in Clover following a public hearing on a conditional use permit.

Currently located at Virginia International Raceway, Camp Motorsport will be located on 413 acres off Mount Laurel Road in Clover offering children ages 8 to 16 a different spin on the traditional summer camp.

Camp participants interested in science, technology and physics of cars are expected to attend this camp spending 20 percent of their time driving go karts, experiencing first hand the science, technology, engineering and math education sought in a motorsports related field and also enjoying many of the traditional events of a summer camp including singing around a campfire and cooling off in the pool, according to Camp Director Diane Tyrell.

Acting on a recommendation from the Halifax County Planning Commission, supervisors approved the land use application for the adult and youth camp after Harvey C. Siegel, manager member of Summerfield Realty Group, met with neighboring landowners to work out sticking points concerning the proposed facility.

Matthew and Nancy Leonard, who also live on Mount Laurel Road, earlier had voiced concerns to planning commission members about noise the facility may make that would negatively impact neighboring landowners.

Prior to Monday night’s public hearing, Siegel said he met with the Leonards, who he said have a 50-60 acre wooded lot between their home and the camp, to allay “any fears, misunderstandings and misconceptions.”

At the conclusion of that meeting, both parties reached an agreement that Camp Motorsport would ensure noise from motor vehicles that campers use in their camp activities will not exceed 84 decibels at the camp property line, Siegel and Leonard confirmed.

Speaking in favor of the camp locating in the Clover community Monday night were neighbors Mildred Roller, who has lived adjacent to the property for over 60 years, Matthew Leonard, Dennis Roller and Kevin Roller.

“We agree to the decision. We worked together to get here and are excited about Camp Staunton Meadows reopening. We hope the board will approve the conditional use permit,” Leonard told supervisors.

Earlier in the evening on a related matter, supervisors held another public hearing in which no one spoke and then discontinued 413.89 acres of Staunton Meadows property in the county’s agricultural and forestal district program paving the way for approval of Camp Motorsport’s conditional use permit. 

The property, currently owned by Staunton River Corporation, John I. Crews Jr. and Corbin Crews, has been included in the agricultural and forestal district program since receiving approval in April 2010.

Summerfield has entered into a contract to purchase the property formerly operated as Camp Staunton Meadows that ceased operations in 2007.

Summerfield intends to restore the property to again become a fully functional residential camp, utilizing the previously installed infrastructure and buildings.

The camp also expects to improve the facilities use with the construction of six additional cabins, Siegel said.

“The new camp will provide essentially the same summer camp activities as previously engaged in but with the addition of specific math, science, technology and engineering instruction. These education components are in addition to the camping activities and motorsport education and instruction,” Siegel concluded.

In the third public hearing of the evening, supervisors held a public hearing and accepted the $587,194 Six Year Improvement Plan which includes improving 1.1 miles of new roadway to current standards on Meadville Road (State Route 642) and bridge replacement on Wolf Trap Road (State Route 716.)

Virginia Department of Transportation Halifax Residency Administrator Kenneth C. Martin opened the hearing apologizing for the lack of projects included in the plan.

“We just haven’t been getting a lot of money,” he added.

During the hearing, Carolyn Ballou of King Village Trail asked that State Road 959 be added to the plan whenever possible.

Also speaking was Ida Terry who told supervisors it was “unfair” all the transportation funds are flowing to Northern Virginia and the Tidewater region.

“Are we that poor? All the tax money we’re paying, and we don’t have enough money to fix our roads. Enough is enough. There has to be some money somewhere,” she said.

ED-8 Supervisor W. Bryant Claiborne suggested Terry take her speech to Richmond and talk with legislators in the General Assembly about the lack of state funding being directed to rural transportation needs.

Eugene Moorefield, a retired employee of the Virginia Department of Transportation, defended the job Martin has been doing despite the lack of state funds.

“It’s the best he can do. If he can do any better, he will do it,” Moorefield said.

In a surprising request, Michael Brandon suggested supervisors consider removing State Route 806 from the priority list since it is essentially a private driveway for two active residents, he said.

In other business Monday night, supervisors took the following actions:

w Listened to George Angerbauer and Stewart Roach of Williams Natural Gas Distribution give a PowerPoint presentation on a Southside expansion project that proposes to build a 100-mile 24-inch natural gas pipeline stretching from Chatham to Brunswick County including 27.3 miles through Halifax County to fuel a new Dominion Virginia Power plant;

Construction on the proposed pipeline is scheduled to begin the third quarter in 2014, with the new power plant becoming operational by the third quarter of 2015.

Authorized County Administrator George Nester to prepare and advertise a central purchasing ordinance that will develop a plan to implement a central purchasing office including the powers and duties of the new office and creation of actual purchasing policies for the county;

According to Nester, the start up and training period will take about two months with the effective date of the ordinance and purchasing regulations set for July 1.

 Authorized the county administrator to draft the Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority’s articles of incorporation and an enabling resolution that will allow the county to collect solid waste disposal fees of $4 per month per household estimated to generate $500,000 annually to offset part of the $1,300,000 the county pays for waste disposal;

 Opted out of the Virginia Retirement System for the Virginia Line of Duty Act payment and instead chose to use the Virginia Municipal League Insurance Program to cover its first responders under the Line of Duty Act;

  Adopted a resolution authorizing a contract with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for the Pine Height neighborhood revitalization program;

 Heard a financial report update from Finance Director Stephanie Jackson;

 Approved the 2012-13 annual budget totaling $87,576,313 and adopted a resolution making annual appropriations for the budget setting a record for the earliest approved budget by members of this board;

 Adopted a resolution setting personal property tax relief at 30 percent on personal use vehicles for up to $20,000;

 Reappointed Nancy Pool to a two-year term on the Workforce Investment Board; and

  Recognized South Boston Elementary School fourth-grader Nicholas Harris for winning first place in the 4-H contest for his project on recycling.

The son of Whitney and Sharon Harris, Harris gave supervisors an overview of his project and the purpose of recycling before being presented a resolution commending his efforts. 

At the conclusion of Monday night’s meeting, supervisors went into closed session but took no action when they emerged.