School Easements Offer a Greener Clarke County

The Clarke County School Board addressed two easements that could deliver environmental benefits to the school division as well as the county in the near future.

At Monday night’s school construction meeting School Board member Robina Bouffault (White Post) presented a proposed easement request by Clarke County government to extend a natural gas line from D. G. Cooley Elementary school to the senior center located at the Clarke County Parks and Recreation property just west of the current high school.

“Clarke County would like to extend the gas line from Cooley and they require a property easement to accomplish it” Bouffault said. “Since the high school could also benefit from access to natural gas the County seems agreeable to pay for the cost of bringing the line to the high school in exchange for the easement.”

School board member Jennifer Welliver (Berryville) pointed out that natural gas availability at the nearby school bus garage could provide a future fuel source for buses rather than diesel or gasoline.

While the final disposition of the natural gas line extension is still under discussion by County officials, the School Board voted unanimously to provide a ten foot easement, in concept, to accommodate the gas line with the condition that the line “serves as many public facilities as possible including the Clarke County Animal Shelter.”

The School Board also took up the seemingly endless topic of the Mosby Boulevard extension once again. While easements for the road extension were granted several months ago, recent design changes by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) require additional legal and engineering review by the School Board, a cost that VDOT agreed to cover according to Bouffault.

On Monday night Bouffault proposed that the new high school might benefit more from additional trees rather than a check from VDOT for the cost of the professional reviews of the easement design documents.

“VDOT can provide things like trees and I think that we should ask them about lining Mosby Avenue with trees as well as placing trees between the water tower and the school” Bouffault said. “It seems like a great tradeoff.”

The School Board unanimously agreed to the Boffault’s proposal for a greener school site.

“We’ve spent a lot of time giving away easements so it’s nice to get something in return for a change” Bouffault said.

Comments

  1. Condition that the gas line “serves as many public facilities as possible including the Clarke County Animal Shelter.”
    Wait till we start hearing the arguments about what the heck that means. It’s about the most ambiguous statement I’ve ever seen in a motion. Way to nail down your intent!