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The Westmoreland Journal
King George, Virginia
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January 21, 2015     The Westmoreland Journal
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January 21, 2015
 

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4 Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 THE JOURNAL www.journalpress,com PHYLLIS COOK This could be the year the King George School Board decides whether to reopen its .... ....... former middle school building. :~;" There has been talk about shifting the sixth :~ i . i grade from the county's three elementary schools into the former middle school for nearly a decade. The idea is to free up capacity for growth at the three elementary schools for students in kindergarten through fifth grades and postpone the need for a fourth elementary school for several more years. There are plans for a joint meeting to be scheduled this month by the board of supervisors and school board, at which the topic of school expansion is likely to come up again, as it did last February. At that time, school board chairman Mike Rose said they wanted to use the vacant school to house sixth-graders after adding more classrooms and a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Using the building as a sixth-grade academy was spawned in 2005. That was when plans for the new high school construction were well underway with completion expected in late 2008. The school board mulled the idea for nearly four years without any decision. SHAPING OUR FUTURE The new high school was completed in January 2009. By April 2009, the school board was again pushed for a decision for the middle school building, and while several options were presented none seemed feasible and money was unavailable. In June 2009, the building was shuttered. When seventh- and eighth-graders started school that fall, they went to the 'new' middle School. Last February, Rose distributed an updated capacity analysis and talked about putting an addition on the closed school and then reopening it. Supervisors were encouraging and offered some other ideas. "It's good you're looking at this now," chairman Joe Grzeika said. "We need to start on a plan on how to address this." Instead of reopening the closed building, supervisor Dale Sisson suggested shifting the sixth-graders into the current middle school building. "And, there is significant capacity in the King George County's former middle school once again may house area students, something it hasn't done since 2009. Lori Deem high school for the present time, and you could figure out how to use that student excess capacity in the interim," Sisson said. Sisson also said they could think about an addition to the existing middle school. "Add another wing, maybe," he said. "Ii:'s a one-time construction cost versus continuing annual operating costs," Grzeika said. Grzeika suggested the division have an assessment of the closed building and grounds to determine if it would meet their needs. Sisson suggested the study include renovations needed with a cost analysis for additional staffing, maintenance and operations. Rose agreed they should have a comparison analysis done for both locations and talk again at a future meeting. The comparison study has not yet been done. Superintendent Rob Benson said the topic will be discussed at the next joint meeting of the two boards. .I RICHARD LEGGITT The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality hosted a public meeting Jan. 13 in Montross to discuss applications to use biosolids on agricultural land in Westmoreland County, as well as a plan to produce landscaping materials that use biosolids for soil enhancement. Anita Tuttle, a biosolids inspector for the departtment, who led the agency's presentation, told a large crowd citizens who were hoping for some kind of action on the applications. "This is not a public hearing; it is an informational meeting;' she said. Tuttle said state regulations already allow the use of biosolids and they already are being used in Westmoreland, as well as every other county and everystate in the nation. The packed meeting at the English building was to help citizens understand and comment on permits that will be granted, according to Tuttle. "I have never felt so disappointed;' said Holly Harman, a local artist and an environmentalist who is .a...member.. of..the ,Westmoreland Wetlands Board. "Basically, we are being told we can't ban it." Rollins Soil Enhancement has filed an application with the state seeking to use biosolids at a new facility in Westmoreland County that would produce landscaping materials. Crops, Inc., Of King George, and Synagro, of Cincinnati, are, seeking to owntown area LINDA FARNETH The town of Colonial Beach is on the way to revitalizing the downtown area. A once bustling resort town in the late 1800s and early 1900s known as the "Playground on the Potomac" Colonial Beach's economy fell prey to the the improvements of land transportation, dwindling aquatic resources and the end of legalized gambling. Although the town is no longer the port town it used to be, the town is taking advantage of its historical roots to try to attract tourist by re-energizing the boardwalk and building a wharf themed pedestrian plaza according to plans in the Community Development Block Grant Application. Revitalization efforts underway will come in two phases. SHAPING OUR FUTURE The first phase of revitalization will not only change the physical appearance in the downtown area but also will seek to change the economy as well. By forming an organization to market and promote the Historic Resort Commercial Boardwalk area and offering small business loans, the town hopes tourism will increase and job opportunities will open up, according to Jerry Davis, executive director of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission. The most noticeable changes will be in the appearance of the boardwalk area. Residents and visitors will enjoy an updated boardwalk with storm spruce up resistant landscaping and benches to promote foot traffic and a desire to linger in the downtown business area, according to Davis. The physical improvements will focus on building facades. The town also will create a mural program, remove three utility poles on Taylor Street, replace a section of the boardwalk's concrete from the Riverboat Restaurant to Colonial Avenue and repair concrete from the Riverboat to Hawthorne Street. The landscaping that will be added to the boardwalk will lead up to Colonial Avenue, where the town will build a pedestrian plaza. The plaza will utilize a rarely used portion at the end of Colonial Avenue. Changes include providing landscaping, street furniture for seating and if the budget will allow adding a splash pad for children and adults to enjoy during the summer. BRIEFS Base use public hearing scheduled for Jan. 28 Area residents are encouraged to participate in a public forum on the joint land use study involving the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Village Green Pavilion, 100 Walter Thomas Road, Indian Head, Md. The meeting is to discuss how changes in land use around the installation could affect the Navy's mission, as well as how current and future operations at the base may impact the surrounding areas. "The community's help is needed to identify impacts and find solutions;' said Proj ect Manager Amy Blessinger, Charles County (Md.) Department of Planning & Growth Management. "The public is a vital participant in the (study), and your concerns and recommendations will help shape the (study), ensuring it is responsive to your needs." The public forum will present information on the study process and give area residents an opportunity to share their thoughts on Navy operations and surrounding land use. The goal is to identify potential conflicts and strategies to maintain compatibility between community development and Navy missions. The study's goal is to sustain the Navy's mission while supporting continued economic and community growth, as well as protect the public's health, safety, and welfare. Rodeheaver is leaving CB planning commission Colonial Beach Planning Commissioner Kent Rodeheaver officially announced his resignation from the planning commission, according to Acting Zoning Administrator, Brendan McHugh. Former Councilwoman Linda Brubaker announced at the Jan 15 commission meeting she will be joining Pamela Tolsen in seeking appointment to fill one of the two vacant seats left by Rodehavor and Ed Grant. Anyone wishing to be considered for appointment to the planning commission may visit town hall and fill out an application. The Commission voted to keep Robin Schick as chairman and Maureen McCabe as vice chairman for 2015. Event will help students with financial aid info Colonial Beach High School and Washington & Lee High School are two of only 25 schools in Virginia chosen this year to participate in the Super FAFSA Project Virginia. Only seniors attending the schools on the list will be allowed to attend. At 6 p.m. Feb. 4, seniors will receive hands-on assistance in completing the federal financial aid form, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. By filling out a the form, students can receive information on hundreds of grants, scholarships, loans and work study programs available to them. The form takes the students information and matches it to these types of financial aid. The program also offers free assistance to students, parents, and borrowers throughout the entire financial aid process. Super FAFSA is a financial aid assistance initiative of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators done in collaboration with the Educational Credit Management Corporation and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Anita Tuttle, center, a biosolids inspector with Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality, talks with citizens at a meeting at the English Building in Montross to discuss the planned use of biosolids on agricultural land in Westmoreland County. Richard Leggitt permits for the land applications of biosolids in Westmoreland County. Harman said the Rollins proposal, which calls for the construction of biosolids plant that would mix human waste with woodchips, leaves and sand to create landscaping "They are proposing to build this plant on the Rappahannock River, not far from the Westmoreland Berry Farm" Harman said. '~nd, the people who are supposed to protect us, aren't. The Westmoreland Planning Commission has been asleep at the switch. "When you think about the poisons that are being spread, there is nothing safe about it. The regulations are not in place to protect us, but we can create county regulations to protect us. We need to change. There is a groundswell going on right now." Mark Mongold, a representative of state department, said the agency's job is to maintain water quality and ensure human health is not affected. "Use of this material has been materials,"willturnourenvironment ~safe and effective as long as into a s ewer."., it ~ly regulated;' he said ..... REGULATE from page 1 wind turbine. McHugh provided research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, whose research states zoning controls whether a person can install a wind turbine. Permits will control how a person installs a wind turbine. The research also says wind turbines must be installed high up to be productive. Currently structures up to 35 feet are generally a permitted use, 'Beyond 35 feet, citizens must obtain a conditional use permit. These laws were put in place based on firefighting limitations in the early 1900s. Currently, laws give localities instructions for towers used for radio, TV and phone transmission, however there are currently very few~,~nd- specific ordinances. ~ McHugh estimates work on these ordinances may take up to a year for drafting; " tfl lic hearings and frfiltl council apprOv-aF. ? H W Sponsored by the King George Builders Association and the Journal Press Everything for the Home...including buying, financing, insurance, surveying, building, decorating, and more. VA 22485 Members, Vendors, and Grafters from King George, Fredericksburg, Northern Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Interested in reserving an exbibition booth? Contact Lori Deem at (540) 709-7495 Iori@journalpress.com Interested in advertising opportunities? ContactAn Account Representative at (540) 775-2024 This advertisement is sponsored by the Journal Press, Inc. ; g