Supervisors table waste collection request
by Larry S. Chowing
The Middlesex County Board of Supervisors tabled action last week on a request from Brian Thacker, owner of Cardinal Waste Services of Stormont, for a special exception that would allow a solid waste collection service to be located in a Low Density Rural (LDR) zone.
Thacker’s property is currently being used by Cardinal Waste, but does not comply with the present zoning. It is located next to the Stormont Convenience Center, the site of the old Middlesex landfill.
The county dump site is regulated by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Middlesex spends a considerable amount of money each year to make sure the old landfill is not leaching effluent into nearby streams and waterways or contaminating wells.
Supervisors voiced concern that runoff from Thacker’s property might contaminate nearby waterways and the county would be held responsible because of its proximity to the old county landfill.
“What if a stream close by was contaminated from Thacker’s property, how would anyone know it was from his and not from ours?” asked Saluda District supervisor Jack Miller.
County administrator Charles Culley said this too is his concern, noting that the county is spending a great deal of money on monitoring the old landfill.
Saluda District supervisor Robert Crump suggested that Thacker determine some means of establishing that there is currently no pollutant-type of discharge from his property, and provide a way of monitoring it in the future.
New county planner Matt Walker said he felt Thacker could hire an environmental engineer to provide a study on the property, which would detail the environmental status. He noted a berm on the property could catch contaminants.
Walker added he feels the county needs protection from leachate that could potentially flow from Thacker’s dumpsters and container bins that are stored on the property. Walker suggested Thacker be required to tarp all containers and seal all drain plugs to prevent water from entering and leaving containers.
Walker also suggested that permits for refuse collectors be valid for one year, and be renewed on an annual basis.
Supervisors agreed they needed more information on environmental issues, but the consensus appeared to be that if the environment concerns were addressed they would go along with the special exception request.
Thacker said he would address those concerns and bring the matter back to the board.
In other matters, the board:
- Approved a special exception request by Teresa Hillman to allow an accessory dwelling unit in a LDR zone near Saluda.
- Denied a request by Christ Church Parish to consider abandoning Route 638, Christ Church Drive, and remove it from the state secondary highway system.
“Given present zoning restrictions, this leaves this property essentially unusable for building, although it had many years ago been envisioned as the site of our new church building,” said Rev. Andersen.
VDOT and Christchurch School officials opposed abandoning Route 638. Christchurch officials said the school uses the outlet for buses carrying athletes and it is much safer than the turn a little further down Route 33. VDOT indicated there would be considerable expense in abandoning the road, and the church or the county would have to bear that expense.
- Tabled action on restricting truck traffic on portions of Regent Road and Dirt Bridge Road near Regent.
- Approved a resolution allowing the non-profit Virginia Baptist Mission Board to borrow funds through Middlesex County Industrial Development Authority (IDA).
Supervisor Fred Crittenden said he wanted to make it clear the county is not lending money to the Baptist Mission Board. The Industrial Development Authority is an independent lending authority where bonds are purchased to generate funds.
- Approved a matching grant of $5,000 from the State of Virginia to be used as reimbursement to the county for the Wings & Wheels festival at Hummel Field at Topping on September 27.
- Approved increasing mileage reimbursement rate to county employees from 44 cents to 50.5 cents per mile.