County Takes First Step Toward East-End Recycling Center

On Tuesday the Clarke County Board of Supervisors took a small first step towards the possible construction of a waste recycling convenience center within closer reach of residents living in the northeast section of the County. The Supervisor’s authorized Chairman Michael Hobert (Berryville) to sign a two-acre lease for property near the Stuart Perry quarry just off Route 7. The lease cost for the two-acre site will be only one dollar per year for forty years thanks to the generosity a local business owner. After expressing support for the recycling center, the three citizens who attended the evening public hearing spent most of their allotted speaking time pleading with the Supervisors to address dangerous rush hour driving conditions on Route 7.

The lease for the property, which does not commit the Supervisors to actually building the recycling center itself, must be signed by June 16.

East-end recycling center would provide easier access for residents in the northeast area of Clarke County, Virginia (click to enlarge)

“We have to accept the lease now if we want to use the property but the facility may not be built right away,” said Supervisor John Staelin (Millwood). “This is just the first step in the process.”

Staelin, and Supervisor David Weiss (Buckmarsh), both of whose election districts cover the County’s northeast and eastern sections, have spoken in support of the recycling center which will offer their constituents a closer alternative than driving to the Frederick County Landfill.

“I’ve repeatedly heard two concerns from people in my district,” Weiss said. “Can we get an alternative so that we don’t have to drive to the dump and the high speeds on Route 7”.

Although 25% of Clarke County’s population lives on the Blue Ridge east of the Shenandoah River, the only waste disposal facilities available are in Clear Brook and White Post and a shared facility with Warren County in Shenandoah Farms.

County Administrator David Ash said that he has received preliminary cost estimates of between $350K and $500K to build the center. Ash envisions that the facility would operate four days a week, ten hours per day using two part-time employees to manage the operation. Ash also recommended that the recycling center schedule mirror the Frederick County landfill hours of operation.

Ash said he estimates that the cost of operating the facility will be about $50,000 per year which includes manpower and waste removal fees.

The three citizens who attended the hearing, Jim and Della Bogaty who live on Quarry Road and Doug Whitehouse who lives on the mountain, all agreed that the recycling center was needed but each added their concerns about access to and from the Quarry Road given heavy traffic and poor site distances at the intersection of Route 7.

“Otherwise,” Whitehouse said in reference to traffic safety concerns “the majority of people who live on the mountain would appreciate this”.

“Crossing Route 7 can sometimes take us ten minutes,” Jim Bogaty said. “I’m as ‘green as the next guy, but what are you doing to handle safety concerns?”

Administrator Ash said that according to the Virginia Department of Transportation, sight distance at the Quarry Road – Route 7 intersection is already sufficient and no additional measures have been recommended.

Bogaty’s wife, Della, characterized Route 7 as “out of control.” Whitehouse agreed that additional safety measures would be a good idea.

However, Supervisor Barbara Byrd (Russell) – who has previously expressed concerns about traffic safety for the project – said that there was still time to work with VDOT to see if additional safety steps could be taken. The ensuing traffic remediation issues discussed by Byrd included a traffic light and flashing road signs to warn of traffic entering Route 7.

Left and right-turn lanes from Route 7 onto Quarry Road are already in place.

After expressing concerns about the traffic on Route 7, Della Bogaty inquired about whether some form of deal had been made between the site’s owner, Denny Perry, and the County in exchange for the dollar-per-year lease agreement.

Proposed recycling center site plan (click to enlarge)

“What’s he getting in return for this?” Bogaty asked.

Supervisor David Weiss replied that in discussions with Perry – who also owns the adjacent quarry – since the County will have the right to use the site for forty years the only thing Perry was gaining was the chance that lease payments could go up at the end of the forty year contract term

“Denny Perry said to me that this community has been very good to him over the years and that he just wants to give back something in return,” Weiss said.

The Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize Hobert to sign the lease agreement pending review by legal counsel.

 

Comments

  1. “Denny Perry said to me that this community has been very good to him over the years and that he just wants to give back something in return,”

    I truly hope his generosity is rewarded, nice to see someone giving back just to give back.

    I would not use the site since I live in town, and it wouldn’t help me, but I am glad it can make it nicer for our neighbors in the county.

  2. Fly on the wall says:

    I agree on the traffic aspect. Once you clear Audley Farm, there is no speed moderation in place going east; going west, it’s the yahoos who coming tearing off the mountain. If the speed could be moderated somehow, that would go a long way towards making it truly more convenient for folks to use.

  3. Tammy Lanham says:

    THANK YOU Mr. Perry! Because of your generosity I am quite sure a good many of the “25% of Clarke County’s Population” will support the recycling AND a waste disposal center (and we will not have to drive clear across Clarke to dispose of household trash in Frederick County!)

    • Kathy Elgin says:

      We have been asking for this for years and will definitely support this much needed project/service. Thank you Mr. Perry for your generosity and thank you Mr. Staelin for listening to your constituents.

  4. Clarke County Annie says:

    Wow, 25% of Clarke County’s population lives on the Blue Ridge east of the Shenandoah River.

    At least the site line is safer at the proposed location. Bogaty’s concern is viable in the time delay crossing Rt. 7 but that has become an everyday occurrence for anyone east of Audley light. Try coming out of Chilly Hollow Road and go west after 3 pm – that hill and speed of traffic is horrible. Or come out of Retreat Road in am or pm – yikes! Even worse!

    Hope the BOS move swiftly as this convenience center would be utilized more than they realize.

    Looking forward to having such a facility at this end of the county!

  5. About time

  6. East of river says:

    What happened to the 1 million dollar enginering estimate the board came up with and published on this site earlier? Scare tactic only? Also have to wonder how much of the counties population live on the southern end, near the Wwarren county border, where the only Carke refuse center has existed for years. Or is it who lives there? Anyway happy to see this location is being considered, as far as traffic goes welcome to Rt. 7 rush hour, to make accces to the proposed area safer, altered hours of operation should be considered, i.e. opening later in the morning and closing later in the evening, would discourage dropping off that single bag of trash during rush hour.

  7. River Watcher says:

    Thank you Mr Perry its highly appreciated. Your generosity will be saving a lot of us time and gas money.

    Being open on a Sunday afternoon would be real helpful to a lot of us. Its hard to get all that needs to be done on your only day off, not everyone has Saturdays off.

    Try getting out of Shephards Mill Rd, nobody uses the turn off lane or a blinker! Plus the folks coming out of the corner store are halfway in the turn lane making it impossible to see beyond them.

  8. I have been driving east to McLean every day for 16 years (knock on wood as accident free so far), and have found that the most “interesting” part of the commute is Shephard’s Mill to Bluemont. Main issues are the traffic out of Shephard’s Mill on the left, followed quickly by large trucks in and out of the quarry. There are also a number of cut-through roads in the median between Shephard’s Mill and the river that no longer go anywhere, and makes for some dangerous situations as drivers have no acceleration or turn lane into them or out of them. One of them goes into a farm, but at least one appears to dead-end into nothing.

    Going up the hill, it is a combination of problems–large slow trucks, fog, and folks who want to drive 75 up the hill and pass those going 60 on the right. At the top of the hill, more fog and a pretty active traffic pattern turning to go up 601.

    I would agree there needs to be more traffic enforcement in that stretch, but it is more a case of bad and/or inattentive driving than it is just speed, and needs to be addressed by having the police driiving the route rather than just running radar.

  9. Thank goodness for this facility getting real consideration! Thanks to the BOS and Mr. Perry. We need it in our part of the county. Traffic concerns? that’s how it is out here, but not a reason not to build it. Just go at safe times (during the day other than rush hours, and weekends it’s not so bad).

  10. Realistic Joe says:

    “The Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize Hobert to sign the lease agreement pending review”

    Then nothing more. Appreciate Mr. Perry’s attitude on giving something back to community.

    Hobert signed after reviewing?

    Hope so and hope it moves forward swiftly. Be nice to something for our tax dollars at this end of the county that we can use and save us time and gas. May even keep more trash off our roads that blow out of other trash trucks and personal vehicles while heading to dump.

  11. PineGrover says:

    Be nice to see this part of the county get something for a change. Just don’t put in another stop light – enough already with the stop lights – we need to get rid of some now. Flash them after peak periods! Thanks to Mr. Perry for making this possible.