Supervisors Focus on Recycling and Park Costs

With the Clarke County Board of Supervisors already well into the budget planning cycle, the lawmakers spent a portion of Monday’s work session discussing two projects with big price tags; a proposed regional park and a citizen’s recycling convenience center.

Both projects are in the Supervisor David Weiss’s Buckmarsh voting district and Weiss said today that the County needs to decide by June on whether or not to accept a no-cost lease at the Stuart M. Perry Quarry site just east of Berryville for the recycling convenience center.

“We need to decide what we’re going to do and let Mr. Perry know” Weiss said.

But although the 20-year lease for the trash collection and recycling center site is being offered as a no-charge courtesy by quarry owner Denny Perry, little else about the project will be cheap. An engineering firm retained by the County to design the recycling center has estimated that the project will cost $500,000 for site preparation and equipment purchase. In addition, the recycling center would need to be staffed during its hours of operation.

“The key to success is having someone there who can develop a rapport with the citizens while monitoring what is being brought in” said Supervisor Bev McKay (White Post). “That way the person can explain where to take items for disposal that aren’t allowed in recycling center.”

But even though the convenience center would make recycling easier for residents in the northeastern section of Clarke County, the high cost likely means that the project will be pushed into the future.

“My concern is the cost of the project” said Supervisor Michael Hobert (Berryville).

Supervisor John Staelin (Millwood) also seemed concerned about the County’s growing budget wish-list. Staelin said that he doubted that the convenience center funding would be included in this year’s budget. If not, Staelin said, the County could still exercise the current no-cost lease option while budgeting the funding into future fiscal years.

The Supervisors also turned their attention to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority’s (NVRPA) proposal for a riverside battlefield park along the Shenandoah.

Supervisor David Weiss asked if it made sense to continue talking about the park given what he described as strong public sentiment against the facility.

“I have received hardly any positive responses for the park” Weiss said. “Before we go down the long road of discussing roads and other aspects do we need to make a policy decision on whether we want to spend the future money that a park will cost?”

The Supervisors, who expect to hear back from NVRPA executive director Paul Gilbert on concerns raised about the park at a recent public meeting, agreed to continue moving forward with the review process and plan to consider Gilbert’s expected February 16th responses at their next public meeting on February 21st.

Due to the high level of public interest in the park proposal, an already scheduled public hearing on a different topic will be heard at the Joint Government Center and, if necessary, the park information meeting may be moved to a larger and yet-to-be-determined location after the already-advertised public hearing.

Comments

  1. comeonfolks says:

    The entire county does not have a public park for hiking (unless you want the rugged Ap. Trail or the flat , paved Hobert Park), biking, not even a dog park. This is a rare chance that someone else (not the county having to do it) will purchase the golf course and put their money into restoring it then operate it for public use while teaching history, nature, civil war, the Shenandoah River and other programs. Some of us residents would like some options to stay in our own county. An increase in tourism and advertising for the county by placing it on the NVRPA umbrella and maps would also help. This one is about more than money. It is about our past and our future. The Clarke Board of Supervisors likely spends $65,000 a year on coffee and xerox paper or hundreds of thousands to research in order to place a recycle dumpster in dirt. We all know Weiss is not interested unless it involves farming. SUPPORT THE PARK! At least give them a chance to respond to basic questions before Weiss makes up his mind for all of us citizens.

  2. Clarke Co Annie says:

    How about Blandy Arboretum then? 172 acres – open 365 days a year, dawn to dusk. Dogs are welcome and 7.5 miles of horses trails. Interpretive signs along their walks. They emphasize environmental issues, gardening, and natural history. Special events for all ages. Safe. Free. They are already there…support them.

    Except for one area in the back, the golf course is basically flat and has paving and cement for the trail. If they return the area to an 1864 landscape it may just be hayfields. Can you say deer tick/lymes?

    I agree… let NVRPA respond to the questions put forth at Blue Ridge Fire Hall then draw conclusions.

    Then, send Mr. Weiss an email or call him regarding your thoughts. He does represent this district but I have found him to be reasonable and responsive.

    But then again, contact all members of BOS as they all will vote.

  3. knowswherethebodiesareburied says:

    Seems to me MR Weiss is the ONLY BOS member who is questioning the ability of the park to add any revenue to the county.There are 2 other BOS members who have their lively hood tied to the Ag business and not a word of non support from either. MR Weiss is but a single vote and seems like the sensible one too..

    These phantom tourists dollars are just that, phantom.One more time, where will these tourists spend their money ? Balls Ford Park located in Leesburg had 1,000 paid visitors last year ! Less than 3 a day darn I guess that will call for another traffic light.

    Doesn’t Blandy offer hiking trails ?

  4. David Lanham says:

    Half a million dollars for site preperation for a recycling center??? I’ve heard of padding your estimate but this is ridiculous! Anyone that has visited one of these sites, will see, dumpsters, one of them compacting, for regular trash, and maybe a 3 or 4 others to seperate recyclables, along with some minor excavating, paving, fencing and grading, I fail to see the $500,000 dollar amount. Let’s visit the last one constructed in the Frederick Co. system, find what the prictag was, update that ,including current evironmental statutes and put that design out to bid to 2 or 3 reputable construction firms, and I’ll bet the real price tag comes in much lower than $500k
    A final thought, why does the county go to an enginering firm to get a construction estimate to begin with? They should be sub-contracors to engineer what? site design, soil eroision, or maybe load bearing capabilities for trucks. I believe getting this estimate from an enginering firm is comparable to getting your home construction estimate from the painter, doesn’t make any sense.

  5. OK, I have a question for those that are FOR the Battle Field Park. How many times have yougone to Blandly Arboretum over the past year?
    The Arboretum is a very nice place with plenty of walking trails and its dog friendly. I know I go there from time to time. Why do we need another park? One that will cost tax payers money when we already have Blandy Arboretum? I’m betting most that are saying we need this park seldom if ever go to the STATE Arboretum located in our county. Another Question, how many tourist dollars has Blandly Arboretum brought into Clarke County??? I think Blandly Arboretum should be used as a model as to the benefit this new park will have on Clark County compared to the dollars spent each year to be a member of the NVRPA.

    The Battle Field Park is a BAD idea!!!

  6. My first reaction to the $500K price tag on the recycle center was WHAAT? So I did a little research. Loudoun County is building a drop-off center for $250K with an annual operating budget of $70,000. However, the budgeted costs for a convenience center is $1 million with an annual operating budget $260,000. So, the question is whether Clarke County is considering a drop-off center (in which case they are paying too much) or a convenience center (in which case they are getting a bargain).

    • Right Winger says:

      Uh, how is a convenience center at $1 million +$260,000 per year a bargain complared to $250,000 +$70,000 per year?

  7. Park along the river is a great idea!! Yes, we have Blandy but that is quite far away from the site just off Rt 7. This park will serve a different part of the county and preserve green space.

    • knowswherethebodiesareburied says:

      If you are not willing drive a few miles to the other side of the county ,how many folks will drive 30 or more miles to visit a battlefield park ,which will be nothing more than a pasture field with some signage?

  8. Why would we spend such a large amount of money to restore a golf course to what it looked like 150-odd years ago? It’s not worth it! And isn’t the golf course already a green space?