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Speakers push for upgrades not in six-year plan

With less than $1 million allocated for county road improvements over the next six years, Virginia Department of Transportation and the Halifax County Board of Supervisors received public input before approving a list of proposed road improvements projects during a hearing held Monday night at the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.

Four Halifax County residents took advantage of the public hearing to provide input, but no one spoke concerning roads included in the Secondary Road Six-Year Plan for 2015-2020 and secondary construction allocations totaling $994,468.

Three addressed concerns about a section of Memorial Drive, a road located near Riverdale in ED-8, they described as being in a state of disrepair.

Clarine Hill-Collins, Jeffrey Jackson and Victoria Jackson each urged supervisors to consider moving Memorial Drive up on the list of road improvements.

Included in the priority listing, but not in the present six-year plan, Memorial Drive in South Boston has nine houses and one church located on it, Hill-Collins told supervisors.

She explained in 2008 the board had approved the “torn up” road for rural addition improvements, but one section was never improved.

“They disregarded one part of it,” she said, adding the road still has a mixture of tar and gravel “that’s been there since the 1940s.”

ED-8 Supervisor W. Bryant Claiborne explained issues with utilities and easements have prevented that section of road from being improved.

He explained in order to have enough right of way, easements would have to be granted that “would go to some of these people’s front door.”

Claiborne asked VDOT officials to look further into this, and Hill-Collins said she already had met with Assistant Residency Administrator Jay Craddock who had come out and measured the width of that section of road.

Since their meeting, Hill-Collins said she had spoken with residents who she said were willing to give up part of their land so that improvements can be made to Memorial Drive.

Jeffrey Jackson, also a resident of Memorial Drive, said he had a petition with signatures of concerned citizens wishing to have improvements made to that section of Memorial Drive.

“We are taxpayers. We do deserve a nice road to travel on and not be neglected,” he added.

Victoria Jackson, another Memorial Drive resident, questioned what happened to the “End State Maintenance” sign once placed on Memorial Drive but no longer there.

Also speaking Monday evening was Sandra Tucker, a resident of White Oak Trail (State Route 915) in ED-3 on which three families live.

The unpaved road, already included on the priority listing but not included in the Six Year Plan, has numerous potholes, Tucker said.

“It’s dust in the summertime and mud in the winter,” she added.

According to estimated allocations, $117,241 will be available for road repairs in 2015, $148,689 in 2016, $178,374 in 2017, $179,664 in 2018, 189,926 in 2019 and $183,574 in 2020 for those roads included on the list.

Projects on the Six-Year Secondary System allocation plan adopted by supervisors Monday night include the following:

Meadville Road (Route 642) where construction began in October and is currently underway at an estimated cost of $5,013,606 and an additional $1,414,494 in funding needed;

 Buckskin Trail (Route 695) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is estimated to cost of $69,079;

 Peaks Trail (Route 774) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is set for advertisement in July 2015 at an estimated cost of $134,500;

 Pitt Trail (Route 916) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is set for advertisement in July 2016 at an estimated cost of $82,000;

 Whitlow Trail (Route 858) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is set for advertisement in July 2017 at an estimated cost of $83,750;

 Jeremy Creek Road (Route 820) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is set for advertisement in July 2018 at an estimated cost of $463,500 and balance to complete is $79,657;

 Deer Ridge Trail (Route 771) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is set for advertisement in July 2019 at an estimated cost of $145,000 and balance to complete is $100,000;

 Clark-Jordan Trail (Route 830) where resurfacing of unpaved construction is set for advertisement in July 2019 at an estimated cost of $70,250 and balance to complete is $65,250; and

 Wolf Trap Road (Route 716) where bridge replacement is set for advertisement in December 2015 at an estimated cost of $2,126,789;

Following the hearing, supervisors approved the Secondary Six Year Plan and road construction budget with no additions.

In other action Monday evening, supervisors took the following actions:

 Unveiled a portrait of former ED-3 Supervisor William I. Fitzgerald who did not seek reelection last November after serving three four-year terms on the Halifax County Board of Supervisors;

 Listened as Halifax Assistant Residency Administrator Jay Craddock offered a monthly status report on Virginia Department of Transportation activities in June;

Mowing operations are currently underway, and litter removal efforts as well as plant mix operations on secondary routes are ongoing, according to Craddock.

 Were informed by County Planning and Zoning Administrator Robbie Love the state mandates revision of the Comprehensive Plan, and Southside Planning District Commission is assisting and facilitating this project;

According to Love, he and Andy Wells of the Southside Planning District Commission are currently compiling updated census data that includes housing, income, education, etc.

Expressing appreciation to the planning district commission for providing assistance, Love pointed out taxpayers are reaping a tremendous savings due to the extra help.

Love said he also is working with county staff and local partners such as the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Halifax County/South Boston Tourism to review current goals and objectives in the plan.

“The task that is taking a while is correlating the data,” Love said explaining new census data includes information not previously included in the plan.

Once a first draft is completed, Love said he anticipates having at least one public information meeting in order to get feedback prior to holding the required public hearings in order to adopt the updated plan.

A public hearing is required by both the planning commission and supervisors on the final plan.

Love said he anticipates a fall completion and adoption timeframe for the updated Comprehensive Plan.

 Adopted a resolution urging Comcast to delay closing its customer service center in South Boston;

The Comcast customer service center, located at 3326 Halifax Road will be closing June 30, with Comcast customers being notified of the change through their bills.

Payments, equipment exchanges and other transactions will have to be made at Comcast’s Danville Service Center, located at 560 Patton St. in Danville, after June 30 if Comcast does do not act on the board’s resolution. 

 Appointed Andrea McKinney of ED-6 to fill a four-year term on the library board and Barry Bank to serve a four-year term on the social services board.