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Middlesex joins Public Access Authority

by Larry Chowning

The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors voted on September 3 to join the Middle Peninsula Public Access Authority.

The county turned down an offer to join the authority in 2002 and has been a non-member ever since.

The public access authority is involved in public water access improvements, obtaining funds for those improvements, and solving very complicated issues regarding public access on the water, said Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission Director Lewis Lawrence this week.

“The dredging issue is what has now changed the minds of the Middlesex board concerning joining the authority,” said Lawrence. “The board felt that dredging Jackson Creek was of enough importance to join the authority.That’s what brought them to the plate.”

The issue of dredging Jackson Creek arose in September 2010 when a marina owner on Jackson Creek, Keith Ruse, brought the situation to the attention of the board of supervisors. Ruse and others requested that the entrance to Jackson Creek be dredged.

The county received a $78,750 grant from the Virginia Port Authority to dredge the creek entrance. The grant was based on Middlesex County paying $26,250 of the total cost of $95,995. The Deltaville Community Association (DCA) formed the Jackson Creek Improvement Committee, which raised $13,000 as a private contribution, and county taxpayers funded the other $13,000. The job was completed in August 2012.

At that time, supervisors also agreed to set aside $100,000 annually toward the dredging of county creeks that had previously been dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers.

In another matter at the September 3 board meeting, supervisors approved a resolution to submit an application for a grant from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) to improve Stampers Bay Landing on Route 630 on the Piankatank River.

Hartfield representative Carlton Revere brought this matter up a couple years ago when he recommended improvements at Stampers Bay and the closing of the colonial Fairfield Landing. The roadway leading to Fairfield Landing has eroded away and VDOT has put up barricades to keep traffic off the road.

Revere said he has discussed the expansion of Stampers Bay Landing with a resident who has a home beside the landing. He indicated the resident voiced concerns over late night activity on the site and trash left behind by visitors.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 09.18.2013

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