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November 6, 2017

County considers support for Waterloo Bridge fix

Fauquier’s board of supervisors will conduct a public hearing on whether to seek $3 million in state and federal grants to help restore the Waterloo Bridge near Orlean.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
So far Fauquier’s board of supervisors has shown no interest in using local tax dollars to help restore the Waterloo Bridge.

Rehabilitating the 139-year-old truss bridge over the Rappahannock River, which connects Fauquier and Culpeper counties near Orlean, would cost almost $4 million.

Russell Hitt, who owns Hitt Construction in Falls Church, and his wife Joan earlier this year pledged $1 million toward rehabilitation. Mr. Hitt also owns property near the bridge in Rappahannock County. 

But, additional funding for the project remains uncertain. The Commonwealth Transportation Board, which controls funding, has allocated nothing for the project.

After a public hearing Thursday, the supervisors will decide whether to seek for $1.5 million in federal and $625,000 in state funding for the project. Another $802,637 would have to come from the Virginia Department of Transportation statewide maintenance fund. If approved, that money plus the $1 million donation would cover the restoration’s projected cost.

Fauquier would use that donation as its local match for the project.

But, the Virginia Department of Transportation wants Fauquier to pay for “any” costs that exceed the $4 million price tag, according to county staff.

The county staff has found no state or federal requirements obligating Fauquier to pick up such additional expenses.

The board will consider three resolutions to address those potential costs. One would commit the county to pay for them. Another would require a third party to pick up that expense. A third would entail the county and VDOT identifying a source for such money.

VDOT in January 2014 shut the bridge because of its deteriorated condition. In April 2016, Fauquier’s board adopted a resolution supporting the bridge’s rehabilitation. Culpeper approved similar resolution. But neither county has committed a penny to the project.

An average 630 vehicles per day used the Waterloo Bridge.

In other matters Thursday, the board will:

• Hold a work session on Vint Hill Village LLC’s comprehensive plan amendment to potentially add up to 372 homes and relocate a planned “village center” at the former Army base near New Baltimore.

Vint Hill Village’s “concept” for the project shows 338 homes.

The landowners want to the supervisors to hold a Dec. 14 public hearing on the project.

An advisory panel to the supervisors, the county planning commission in September unanimously recommended denial of the project. The supervisors have final authority on the request.

• Decide whether to rent 1,565 square feet of space in the Warrenton Professional Center 493 Blackwell Road to house Fauquier’s planned wellness clinic, which would serve county government and school employees.

Under the 21-page lease, the county would pay $34,256 for the space during the first year, including its proportionate share of real estate taxes. That total excludes utilities.

The agreement would allow two, one-year extensions of the lease.

Fauquier County Board of Supervisors Agenda November 9, 2017 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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Rocco · November 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm
Why is Fauquier County spending that kind of money on rent when they could by or build their own offices?
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