A lot to talk about

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By District 2 Supervisor Chuck Neudorfer

    I will be holding my quarterly Town Meeting at the Moneta Library on Saturday morning, Sept. 24, from 10 to 11:30.  There are a lot of topics we can discuss.

    The Tri-County Relicensing Committee is continuing efforts to have a sit-down meeting with Appalachian Power Company (APCO) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to try to resolve issues created by the proposed Shoreline Management Plan and to establish a good working relationship with APCO under their new 30 year operating license.  FERC continues to resist this meeting using a host of very bureaucratic reasons.  We have been in contact with the Governor’s office, the State Attorney General, the Secretaries of Commerce and Natural Resources, Congressman Hurt and Senator Warner requesting their support to have this meeting.  We do intend to get the meeting with FERC.
    On September 14 the City of Bedford and the County approved a negotiated agreement with regard to the city reverting to town status.  At that time the agreement became a public document and available to the citizens of the County.  You can read the agreement on the County Web site.  I will be glad to discuss the document with you.  The agreement will next be reviewed by the Council on Local Government and subsequently by a three-judge panel established by the State Supreme Court.  This process could take up to 18 months to finalize the reversion.  Citizens will have the opportunity to provide comments during this process.
    The Board of Supervisors is very close to completing the amendments to the current Zoning Ordinance.  The proposed amendments may be finalized by the board by the end of this month.  All residents will be notified by mail that the Zoning Ordinance will be changed and given an opportunity to review the proposed document.  A public hearing will be held to allow public comment on the document before final adoption.  I will be glad to discuss the general thrust of the proposed changes and I encourage you to review the document and provide your comments.  Although our schedule for adoption of the new ordinance was delayed at our last meeting, I believe the public hearing will be held before the end of the year.
    The County is undertaking a review and update of the 2002 Wireless Strategic Plan for commercial cell towers.  As a part of the review, there will be a citizen survey on the County Web site to collect citizens’ needs for future wireless service.  I want to encourage your participation in the survey.  We need this information for an overall study of broadband service requirements in the County.
    About a year ago the Board of Supervisors appointed themselves as the County Broadband Authority with the objective of extending broadband services throughout the County at a reasonable cost.  Working with the Region 2000 technology office, a contractor was selected to start this process and application was made for funding of the project.  Economic conditions stopped the availability of funds and the project is on hold.  At this same time the County is negotiating a franchise agreement with a cable company and performing the wireless study described above.  I have requested that the Broadband Authority meet in the near future to determine how best to consolidate, coordinate, plan, implement, and fund broadband services for the County.  Your input is important.
    There are many other things going on in the County; so, as always, you are welcome to come and talk about anything on your mind.  Please stop by.