The Berryville Town Council convened Wednesday night to vote on the final issues that stood in the way of building the new Clarke County High School. The meeting represented the culmination of months of back and forth negotiations between the the Town of Berryville and the School Board on a complex special use permit required by the town.
The issues at hand revolved around cost sharing and easements. Lawyers for each side had passed agreements back and forth for review for months in an attempt to iron out disagreements in the final language. As the clock ticked away, the School Board suggested a joint meeting between lawyers and representatives from both sides in a face to face setting to finalize the documents. Both sides agreed to and participated in that meeting last week. As a result the final documents were approved by the School Board on Monday of this week and the documents before the Council Wednesday were, for all intents and purposes, pre-approved.
The first item was the cost sharing agreement for the difference between the 8″ waterline the school is required to install across its property and the upgrade to a 12″ pipe that the town wants installed. The Town Council approved the agreement unanimously.
The next two items on the agenda dealt with easements. Construction of the high school will require new easements as well as vacating some existing easements for sewer, water, trails, and construction. Also in these agreements were provisional easements for the temporary entrance. These required many revisions before being finalized because of the timings of filing easements and vacating easements. These agreements were approved unanimously as well.
The whirlwind twenty-seven minute session provided the School Board with the final approvals needed for construction on the new Clarke County High School to begin.
After the votes Mayor Kirby took a moment to congratulate the School Board on their accomplishment. “On behalf of the Council I would like to congratulate the School Board in working with us, I know it has been a long process and there have been some tense moments, but we endured so congratulations on getting the approval from the Council.”
School Board Chair Robina Bouffault responded to the Council and said, “We wish to thank the town council for these approvals which will allow us to accept the lowest bidder which appears to be Shockey.” Ms. Bouffault added, “We hope that this will be a school that both the town and county citizens can all be proud of.”