The good news at Thursday’s Northumberland County Board of Supervisors meeting was that the changes to Route 360 at its intersection with Academic Lane are essentially complete. The bad news was that Callao did not receive the revitalization grant it had been working for.
County Administrator Luttrell Tadlock told the Board that Callao had not gotten the grant. The applicants for grants had been rated by the state with 1000 points being the most they could get. Callao had rated 737 points. Another municipality with 746 points had received a grant.
Northumberland’s Executive Director of the Economic Development Commission, Theresa Lambert,who headed the grant effort, said that an absence of open space in Callao cost it points but that the commission is working on several possible ways to fix that. She also noted that a number of places have obtained revitalization grants on their second efforts to obtain them.
Although the highway work at Academic Lane has reached the “punchlist” state according to Virginia Department of Transportation, the area’s Resident Administrator, Steve McKeever, the project came in for criticism, particularly from Supervisor Tom Tomlin.
Tomlin was not critical of VDOT but of the contractor it used to do the work. He said he understood that contracts go to the lowest bidder but that bidder is supposed to be qualified to do the job. “They couldn’t,” he said.
The remaining concerns about the project center on the roughness of the paving and the width of an entryway into the bus parking lot. McKeever said the entry way was being widened and VDOT was in talks with the contractor with an eye to getting the pavement smoothed.
After the meeting, Tadlock said he believes VDOT is trying to get a refund from the contractor which can be added to other funds already available for a planned re-paving on Route 360 enabling VDOT to re-pave the new section at Academic Lane.
Francis Bradley of Atlantic Broadband spoke to the Board regarding the company’s acquisition of MetroCast which has been providing cable services to the county. Bradley said the change should be seamless and that no MetroCast employees would lose their jobs. Although Bradley said Atlantic would offer new phone, Internet and cable packages and faster Internet, he was unable to assure the Board regarding the extension of Internet services to “the last mile” of potential customers.
Bradley said that providing the service to potential end-of-the-line customers was an economic decision. He suggested the county put together a lsit of areas it would like to see served and Atlantic would analyze it and let the county know what it can do. If it cannot extend the services economically, the community may wish to underwrite the expenses, he said.
The Supervisors voted to send Supervisor Joe Self as the county’s delegate to this fall’s Virginia Association of Counties meeting and appointed the sheriff’s department’s Maj. Johnny Beauchamp as the county’s member of the area’s Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
Following the meeting’s one public hearing, the Board granted Charles O’Bier a conditional use permit to build a boathouse next to his existing pier in Lewisetta.