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A Town Out of Control

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Dear Editor, Opinion No Comments
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I am still trying wrap my head around the picture in the paper a few months ago showing two roundabouts. But, it is true that the current one lane roundabout at the corner of Rt. 287 and Main St. is going to be torn out, and a new two lane roundabout will be built in mid-September approximately 90 ft. away paid for by the residents and businesses of Purcellville. Further investigation confirmed that the decision to wait until the middle of September to begin construction is the Town’s decision alone as this is the town’s project. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) can only make suggestions, and comments, but the ultimate decision on the time frame is made by the town officials.

Over the past five years while attending town meetings I have constantly heard empty promises from Mayor Bob Lazaro and most Council Members about how the building of the Southern Collector Road (SCR) would not hurt the Crooked Run Orchard Farm operations.

Let’s fast forward to 2012 and set the record straight with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. When the town took over seven acres by “Quick Take” Condemnation, they took a barn, one third of their parking spaces for customers, nearly one hundred fruit bearing trees, a critical roadway that lead to the back 45 acres, and removed hundreds of mature canopy trees … and this is working with the Browns? The town did the exact opposite of what most municipalities do when a business or farm needs access to their business. It is common practice for the design and construction plans to include an easement, and this could have been done for Sam Brown. Also, in a meeting with the town this year, Mr. Brown was told that the SCR construction would include the closing of his residence and “honor system” farm store driveway. Is this working with the Browns?

I find it extremely disturbing that the road construction will not begin until mid-September in front of Crooked Run Orchard and this is the busiest three months of their business. Also this major construction project will begin just as schools open, and our roads are much busier with commuters. Surely they could have started the roundabout this summer and been close to completion before school starts. How much more poor planning, mean spirited, untruthfulness, wasteful spending, and putting families safety at risk can the residents, and businesses in and around Purcellville tolerate?The Town actions are apparent in their utter disregard for the last historic, working farm in Town. How much concern do you think the Town will have for Nichols Hardware (100 year old, historic business) and the existing 21st St. businesses when the Town begins the unnecessary construction project downtown for the benefit of their newly crowned developers’ “Tourist District” project? How will the 21st Street-Old Town businesses survive when there is no access to their stores for months? Does the Town care? The Developer?

Did anyone even stop once to think about the safety of our children in planning the deconstruction of the current roundabout, and construction of the new roundabout in the middle of September when the corner will be filled with precious cargo on hundreds of school buses? Why not?

Kelli Grim, Purcellville

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