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Culpeper Times • November 8-14, 2018
Rappahannock BOS votes 3-2 to kill bike path By Patty Hardee Special to the Rappahannock News At 11:20 p.m. Monday night, after passionate remarks in which he castigated residents at the meeting for acting childish and saying “I'm disappointed to see you arguing and laughing,” Board of Supervisors Chair Roger Welch called for a voice vote on Christine Smith's resolution to deny a large VDOT grant awarded to RappTrails Coalition. Then Welch, the last of five mem-
bers to vote, drove the final stake thru the heart of the School Connector Trail voting “Aye!” This came at the end of a long and especially contentious regular BOS meeting that convened at 2 p.m. and adjourned shortly before the midnight hour, with only a short dinner break. Anticipating an evening session crowd larger than could be accommodated at the Rappahannock County Courthouse, where the BOS usually meets, county Administrator Garrey Curry secured the high school audi-
torium for the evening session. Attendance reached 154 in the 350-seat capacity venue. Despite an agenda packed with other items of importance to the county, it seemed the only topic the public cared about was the trail and Smith’s last-minute resolution to deny the $800,000-plus grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation. RappTrails Coalition had been awarded the grant in June to cover 80 percent of the estimated cost of building the 1.2 mile path between the county’s two public schools. As required by VDOT, the other
20 percent had to be supplied by the county or raised from outside sources. RappTrails raised the other 20 percent and more in private donations and nonprofit grants. And the group continued to fund raise. In a November 5 letter to the BOS, RappTrails’ founder Jane Whitfield reported that RappTrails had raised an additional $105,000 in only one week’s time. This additional amount was to counter earlier citizen concerns about the cost of maintaining the trail for the VDOT-mandated life of 15 years.
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