Saying the condition of roads in Floyd County is as “worse as I have ever seen,” Courthouse Supervisor Jerry Boothe Tuesday told Virginia Department of Transportation officials that a comprehensive program is “needed now” to correct what he sees as dangers to public safety for residents traveling on such roads.
“It continues to go down,” Boothe said during VDOT’s monthly appearance before the Board of Supervisors. “A lot is needed to correct the situation.”
Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch agreed. VDOT, she said, “is charged with the safety of our roads” and maintenance of those roads “must be done.”
Kuchenbuch cited unsafe and poor conditions on Virginia Rt. 615 where the road surface is crumbling and is often too narrow for two cars approaching towards each other to pass.
Boothe listed overdue repair and replacement of guardrails on Virginia Rt. 8 among other problem areas.
Boothe and Kuchenbuch have requested studies in the past on Virginia Rt. 8 and U.S. 221 with requests for lower speed limits. Boothe asked why he has never learned why such requests were denied.
“I’d like to know why it was turned down,” he said. A new study is planned for the road, he learned Tuesday.
The questions came after each of the Supervisors thanked VDOT for its efforts during recent rain, snow and ice storms. “Your job on the snowstorm was phenomenal,” Kuchenbuch said.
Chris Price of VDOT said the heavy rains have left VDOT with a backlog of projects to fix potholes, clear out and replace gutters and other needs.
The record rainfall has also brought more water from replenished springs and other sources, he said.
In another road matter, Jay Guy of VDOT told the Board the county needs to contractually approve funding for access roads improvements at the Floyd Commerce Park. The road, originally estimated to cost $1 million and expected to be paid for by a grant, is now expected to cost $1.1 million and the county must approve the additional $100,000 in funds and a source.
Boothe asked Guy if that money could be applied from funds allocated to the county’s six-year road program, which uses state and federal funds. Guy said the money could come from that fund.
The county will consider using that fund when it considers final approval.
In another budget matter, the Supervisors voted to approve $6,749 to fund raises in the FY19 budget for raises for sworn officers. The raises are because the state revenue contingencies in the approved 2018 budget have been met.
Board Chairman Lauren Yoder thanked Sheriff Brian Craig for his “attention to detail” and transparency in presenting the need for the raises for his department. Other thanks came from former deputy Joe Turman - the Burks Fork Supervisor, and Kuchenbuch.
They praised the department’s professionalism and morale.
In yet another financial matter, the Board received a recommendation from Davenport & Company for alternatives to handle a projected $20.5 million in capital funding needs for a shell building at the Floyd Commerce Park and a proposed workplace education building at the high school.
The Board already approved seeking bids for a $2.5 million loan to cover the shell building, but the Davenport study looks at what could be the options on financing the additional $18 million for the school project, including a line of credit, a five-cent real estate tax increase or other proposals.
No action was requested or taken on the proposal. Yoder said the Board will study the recommendations before taking any action.
With the start of a new year, the Board voted on leaders and meeting dates, keeping Yoder as chairman and Joe Turman as vice chairman. The Board will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 8:30 a.m. and the fourth Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m.
In other action:
--The Board appointed Rick Parrish to the Public Service Authority.
--Supervisors approved Kuchenbuch to a one-year term on the Recreation Authority.