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T he Volume 38, Number 5 King George helping you relate to your community VDOT Dahlgren Road study could add two traffic lights But not at Owens Phyllis Cook The King George Board of Supervisors received a report on a study conducted along Dahlgren Road (Route 206). Results of the study indicate that two intersections have met warrants for construction of traffic lights. The presentation was provided at last week’s meeting on Jan. 23 from David Brown, Residency Administrator for the Fredericksburg District for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), with assistance from Peter Hedrich, area traffic engineer also with the Fredericksburg District Residency. The report detailed information on the study that was conducted in December 2013 on Dahlgren Road. Brown also provided a clarification about where traffic lights could be installed. Brown noted that Route 206 is a nine-mile stretch of two-lane road between Route 3 and U.S. 301, classified as a Rural Minor Arterial. He said it serves as a primary travel route for drivers headed to and from the Dahlgren Naval Base. Route 206 is intersected by Route 218 at two different points. In addition, there are a lot of residences along the road, and several local POSTAL CUSTOMER businesses. Brown clarified that the Route 206 and Route 218 intersection which is slated to get a traffic light is at the intersection known as Berthaville, near St. Paul’s Road. He also noted that the intersection with Route 206, Route 218 and Route 624 converging at Owens continues to not meet VDOT’s criteria for a traffic light. That intersection is slated for other improvements outlined below. But another intersection warranted for either a traffic light or a roundabout is the one on Dahlgren Road with Route 610 (Indiantown Road). ROUTE 206 CORRIDOR Brown said the study included looking at traffic volumes, accident history, sight distances and pavement markings. Five segments were evaluated including the following: • US 301 to Routes 218 (Windsor Drive)/624 (Owens Drive) • Routes 218/624 to Route 218 (Caledon Road) • Route 218 (Caledon Road) to north of Pepper Mill Creek bridge • South of Pepper Mill Creek bridge to Route 644 (Potts Lane) • Route 644 (Potts Lane) to Route 3 Along the corridor, three of the intersections were evaluated again for traffic signal warrants. Those include the following: • Route 218 (Windsor Road)/ Route 624 (Owens Road) – Still no traffic light warranted. A project for intersection improvements is planned to enhance safety and traffic flow by construction of turn lanes on Route 206 for traffic turning onto Route 218 and Route 624. The construction project was advertised for bid last September, and is expected to be completed by the end of December 2014, estimated to cost $3.6 million. • Route 218 (Caledon Road)/ Route 632 (St. Paul’s Road) – This Berthaville intersection is slated to have a traffic signal project programmed for funding during fiscal year 2014-15 as an interim measure through 2028, with turn lanes to likely be added in the future. • Route 610 (Indiantown Road) – This intersection has met enough warrants for some traffic volumes and was approved for a traffic signal along with left turn lanes to also be constructed on Route 206, as part of the project. Brown said the project is programmed for 2015-16. Instead See VDOT, page 3 A King George man has entered guilty pleas to three counts of drug distribution and three counts of child endangerment. King George Commonwealth’s Attorney Keri Gusmann said Purnell Pratt was selling prescription narcotic pills out of a room at a local motel while children were present. Circuit Court Judge Joseph Ellis revoked Pratt’s bond Thursday, Jan. 23. Pratt, 57, will be sentenced on April 10. Gusmann said because Pratt has a prior conviction for drug distribution, he will be sentenced to at least six years of active time.   “The judge can sentence him to more than that, but not less,” Gusmann said. “Those six years are the mandatory minimum, and the judge cannot suspend that time.” “It does not matter that he sells pills that he got from a doctor. It does not matter what form the drugs come in, word needs to get out that if you sell drugs, you will go to prison. Prescription painkillers are as dangerous as cocaine or heroin,” said Gusmann. “They are just as addictive.” Gusmann, who has led efforts to crack down on illegal drug use in King George County, said, “We need to talk about the abuse of prescription drugs. It is very dangerous.” “People who have legitimate prescriptions need to make sure that (1) they are taking the prescription correctly and (2) that they keep track of all of their medications.” Also in King George Circuit Court on Thursday, Katelyn Price, 24, was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in breaking into vehicles in the Presidential Lakes area last March. Price and her co-defendant, James Davis, were Looks like snow Fracking issues on the agenda Double-double Phyllis Cook Leonard Banks On Saturday evening, Fox senior Anthony Howard had another double-double performance, as he scored 21 points, while collecting 12 rebounds against James Monroe in a non-conference game, at King George High School. Pratt enters guilty pleas to drug charges Richard Leggitt Wednesday, January 29, 2014 50 Cents convicted of tampering with and stealing from a dozen vehicles. Judge Ellis sentenced Price, a resident of Stafford County, to a total of 36 years in prison but suspended all but three years. Davis, 27, from King George, was sentenced in October to 36 years in prison, with all but two years suspended. “Those of us in law enforcement cannot stress enough that you should always lock your vehicle, and you should never leave valuables in your car,” Gusmann said. “All the vehicles involved in this incident were unlocked.” “Additionally, if you are just one of those forgetful people, you may need to come up with a routine that reminds you to lock the car. If you have younger kids, it can be a game over who gets to lock the car. Or pick a spot to always put your keys when you come home, and have a Post It there that says, “Car locked?”     Fracking informational meeting on Wed. Dahlgren Supervisor Ruby Brabo is sponsoring a town hall meeting on the issue this week on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7-9 p.m. at the UMW-Dahlgren. The forum is also hosted by Friends of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail. This information meeting is an opportunity for residents to hear more about oil and gas drilling. The forum will provide time for discussion, along with questions and answers. Former Delegate Albert Pollard, along with Friends of the Rappahannock, will be providing information specifically about fracking in the Taylorsville Basin. Other guest speakers are expected to include Pablo Cuevas, Rockingham County Board of Supervisors, and a Rockingham County Deputy County Administrator to provide information about their county’s experiences regarding special exception permitting. In addition, a representative from the Southern Environmental Law Center will provide information regarding the state code. County approves purchases for Sheriff $150K from state fund & $10K federal grant for fire/rescue Phyllis Cook The Board of Supervisors approved some additional budget appropriations last week, some for the Sheriff and some for King George Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services. SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT Supervisors approved an additional appropriation of $149,700 to the Sheriff ’s Department from funds received from the state’s office of the Attorney General from federal forfeiture monies. The action at last week’s meeting on Jan. 23 approved an amendment to the 2013-14 county budget. The board voted to amend the Law Enforcement project fund budget to accept the funds from the state and to appropriate the additional revenues and expenditures in the amount of $149,700 received the state. Sheriff Steve Dempsey had signaled the intended purchases for his department at a previous meeting in December. At that time, he said he had been working on procuring new equipment with the county’s procurement officer, Kelly Dixon. The equipment to be purchased within the next 24 months are noted below along with the estimated costs. ~ 22 digital patroller camera systems - $77,000 ~ One variable message board $13,700 ~ One evidence incinerator $4,000 See Funds, page 3 Scaramozzi, Colwell elected to lead Planning Commission The cold sunlight is reflected by the ice on Machodoc Creek. The King George Planning Commission held its election of officers last week with Tony Scaramozzi reelected chairman for 2014 and Josh Colwell elected vice chairman. Both men are experienced with a gavel and perform the service effectively. The elections took place last week at a meeting on Jan. 14. Scaramozzi joined the commission in April 2009 when he was appointed by Supervisor Joe Grzeika as one of two representatives of the James Madison district. He had first taken on the chairman position for 2013 from Colwell, who had served as chairman since 2007. Colwell had last year signaled that he thought it was time for someone new to become chairman. Colwell is an At-Large appointment. Most county boards, commissions and committees go through this annual ritual of election of officers. It is not a coveted position on most county groups. In fact, many of the members come to understand that it is important to attend this annual meeting, or there is a possibility they might be elected to an office while absent. The agenda for Planning Commission meetings is generally set by Jack Green, Director of Community Development. Green is often assisted at meetings by Zoning Enforcement Officer/Planner Heather Straughan, also from the Community Development Department. County staff set the agendas because they are in charge of initial reviews of applications for such things as plats, See officers, page 3 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at Drilling for natural gas and oil is being discussed by the King George Board of Supervisors, with one report last week and more on the way to get the governing body up to speed on just what authority is provided under state law to regulate gas and oil drillers, should permit applications be received for any for drilling in the county. The next meeting of the board is scheduled on Feb. 4, when a presentation is expected from a representative from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). That meeting will be held at the King George Citizens Center, located on Route 3 (Kings Hwy), across from the Food Lion shopping center. The suggestion to move the meeting to a location to accommodate more audience seating was suggested by Supervisor Cedell Brooks. It is a regularly scheduled business meeting, with the Service Authority and Wireless Authority also meeting at that location, all scheduled for 6 p.m. All reporting to the board on the drilling issue is slated to take place during public meetings, with one or more town hall-style meetings to be held by the board after a lot more is known, including the effects of any new legislation by the General Assembly that gets through the legislative state bodies and signed into law. Late last year, Supervisors had directed county attorney Eric Gregory to review the county ordinances and research state law and report back. Gregory’s report had been expected at a board meeting on Jan. 21, which took place last week on Jan. 23, having been postponed a couple of days due to a forecast for heavy snow. FRACKING, DRILLING, EXTRACTION Hydraulic fracturing – called fracking, or hydrofracking – is a process whereby chemicals and water are forced deep into the ground to fracture the shale rock strata to release natural gas. This fracking process consumes large amounts of water, and the chemicals have been known to pollute aquifers. But that is only one method of extraction for natural gas, with other names for different extraction processes, some using less water, but all appearing to use chemicals. King George’s entire water supply is dependent on wells fed from underground aquifers. Localities derive their specific authorities to take action from the Code of Virginia. And when it comes to mining, there are also two main agencies involved in regulation at the state level. Those are DMME and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Board Chairman Joe Grzeika responded to concerns raised by four residents early in the meeting during public comment time. One person intimated that Supervisors might be swayed by “financial aspects” inferring drilling could increase county revenues. Grzeika quashed those fears, noting the county gets no revenue from the mining currently ongoing in the county for sand and gravel extraction. Actually, an argument being used by drilling companies is that mining will bring jobs to a region. But that See Fracking, page 3

01-29-2014 King George Va Journal

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