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Lee supervisors seek grants to fund water, building projects

February 21st, 2007 7:18 pm by WALTER LITTRELL



JONESVILLE - Following a pair of public hearings Tuesday, the Lee County Board of Supervisors voted to apply to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for Community Development Block Grant funding for two projects.


One proposed project involves the installation of public water lines for a proposed Blackwater water project. Funds from the other grant would be used toward construction of the Constitutional Oaks Medical and Training Facility project.


The Blackwater water project would involve installation of new water lines to provide service generally along State Routes 603 and 604 in the Blackwater community west of the Lee/Scott county line, said County Administrator Dane Poe. The project would serve an estimated 117 households, of which an estimated 85 would be low- and moderate-income households.


The estimated cost of the project is just over $2 million. While the county is requesting $1 million in CDBG funding, the Lee County Public Service Authority will seek the remainder from the Virginia Department of Health.


The Constitutional Oaks project would involve construction of a multi-use facility in support of the Constitutional Oaks Business Park. Anticipated occupants of the structure will be a medical/dental clinic relocated from its current location in Ewing and a training center utilized by the Lee County Industrial Development Authority.


Poe said the total project is estimated to cost nearly $2.5 million, and because of a cap on how much the county can have in project funding through the CDBG program, the county is only seeking $200,000. The IDA will request the balance from other state and local sources including the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, and, potentially, the Virginia Health Care Foundation.


Supervisors held two other public hearings, after which they approved a subdivision plat for GMAC Properties for a housing development on the north side of Route 58 in the Mount Hope community, approximately 2.5 miles west of Jonesville.


The board tabled action on a special-use permit being sought by Joyce Peters for a self-storage mini warehouse facility in the Dryden community. Two speakers opposed the permit, and supervisors decided to table action because Peters was not present to respond or answer questions.


After hearing an update from engineer Bobby Lane on a building improvement program, supervisors voted 4-1 to award a contract for renovation of the first floor at the courthouse to Chapman Construction of Gate City. The renovation is necessary to house the Lee County Sheriff's Department and a 911 center once the Department of Social Services moves to a new facility nearing completion. The winning bid of $992,000 will be funded through the Rural Development Agency, said Poe.


Since the agency has yet to receive its allocation from Congress for the current fiscal year, the board authorized Poe to obtain interim financing until the RD funds come through.


Supervisor D.J. Barker opposed both the motion to award the contract and the motion to seek interim funding.


In other matters, the board made several appointments to various boards, awarded a $53,000 contract for construction of a convenience center at Ewing, agreed to purchase a new cruiser for the sheriff's department and a new truck for animal control, agreed to purchase 35 new dumpsters, and agreed to a proposal allowing Anderson and Associates Engineering to update E-911 maps to include all new construction since mapping began.


The board scheduled a public hearing to be held prior to the March 20 meeting to take input on a proposed amendment to the road naming ordinance that would set a penalty for damaging road signs. Supervisors further scheduled a 2 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 7 for the new social services building and agreed to seek a grant to be used for the purchase of new police vehicles. Finally, the board agreed to transition from using gas to euthanize animals at the shelter to using lethal injection, providing grant funding is available.


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