The Board of Supervisors faced some major secondary road issues at the Sept. 24th meeting. Two secondary roads were on the front burner during the VDOT portion of the meeting.
The first of the road issues of note included the continuing problems with Shiloh Road in the Eagle Rock section of the county. Heavy rains during the summer of 2o13 contributed to the problem of portions of washed out road in the narrow area. Two citizens Jim Holliday and Barb Kolb who operate Blue Ridge Winery located on the road, made impassioned pleas for the road improvements. Kolb said, “We have over 6,000 visitors making two trips up and down that road for 12,000 trips. It is dangerous.” Holliday, a former science and physics teacher said, “I could calculate that if you go off the cliff which is the equivalent of 8-9 stories at 45 miles per hour, you will not survive when you hit bottom.”
VDOT official Dan Collins reminded the board that the road is not in the county six year plan and there is no emergency funding for it. Fincastle Supervisor Jack Leffel said, “It is a very important issue and a safety issue.” Both Mac Scothorn and Terry Austin agreed the problem deserves attention. At the end of the discussion, no action was taken. The road remains the same.
The Board approved a road relocation project (using some matching funds from other projects) to Blue Ridge Turnpike and Lee Highway in association with the new building at Mill Creek Baptist Church.In Oct. and Nov. 2011, (County) ” Staff understood that should the project be funded by VDOT in Revenue Sharing as a revenue sharing project, the local match portion of the project costs would be borne by the church,” so read County Administrator Kathleen Guzi.
“Joe Obenshain a church member who lives at the proposed interchange donated land and the church has paid for design,” said Buchanan Supervisor Terry Austin. “It may be the letter of what this sounds like as a match, but it is their match to the project.” Jack Leffel questioned the use of use of the matching funds from other projects and another local match from the county of $180,000. “How do we prioritize what is important in roads?” Citing the problems with Shiloh Road as an example. Ultimately the board agreed to use the funds moving from the other older revenue sharing projects. VDOT would be notified that the county, not the church would be providing the local match.
The 600,000 project includes revenue sharing for older projects in $120,000 already set aside by both VDOT and Botetourt County, staff time, $300,000 from VDOT and an approximate estimated of an additional $91,000 real dollars from the County.
The vote was 4-1 with Scothorn, Austin, Steve Clinton and Billy Martin voting yes and Leffel being the dissenting vote.