Montvale Park gets more money

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By John Barnhart

    Montvale Park will get most of the money needed for its completion.
    According to Michael Stokes, Bedford County’s director of parks and recreation, $267,000 is needed to complete the park. He said there is currently $139,000 in the capital improvement plan for the park.
    District 6 Supervisor Annie Pollard, who has long lobbied for the park’s completion, made a motion that $105,000 in delinquent taxes recently collected, and still undesignated, be spent on the park. She said the park’s completion has been on hold for 13 years.
    “I think this is a good use of that money,” Pollard said.
    Pollard noted that this still leaves the park short of what’s needed.
    “We are going to do the best we can,” she said.
    Pollard’s motion passed 6-1 with District 4 Supervisor John Sharp casting the dissenting vote.
    “Thank all of you for your support on Montvale Park,” Pollard said after the vote.
    “All except one,” Sharp commented.
    “All except for the cry-baby from Forest,” Pollard added.
    District 2 Supervisor Curry Martin said he is still looking for $75,000 for restrooms at Moneta Park.
    Also passing 6-1 was an initiating resolution for text amendments to the county’s zoning ordinance. These amendments had originally been presented to the supervisors by County Attorney Carl Boggess. Two controversial items were the elimination of the requirement that developers hold neighborhood informational meetings on their projects and the requirement to post signs on property where changes are proposed.
    The version of these amendments that Tim Wilson, the county’s director of community development, presented restored the posting requirement. However, the community development department will pay  the cost and do the posting. Wilson said his department has already been doing this for the past year. County initiated rezonings that affect a large number of properties are exempted.
    Board Chairman Steve Arrington cast the lone dissenting vote. The resolution sends the amendments to the planing commission.
    A car tax relief measure passed unanimously. Each year the county sets the personal property tax relief amount. Susan Crawford, the county’s director of fiscal management, recommended a 54 percent relief rate, which the supervisors accepted. The current relief rate is 55 percent.
    The supervisors plan to look at their policy on the public comment period that precedes meetings. The board’s policy limits comments to items on the agenda, but Sharp noted that this policy is not enforced.
    “I believe this board should have an open door from the public,” Sharp said. Sharp wants to remove the reference to the agenda.
    The supervisors also heard a presentation from June Lufke, the captain of the Boonsboro Rescue Squad, on the need for EMT training space. Lufke, who is a registered nurse, said the fire and rescue department’s facility on Falling Creek Road was set up in 2003 and was intended to be temporary. It’s still being used 10 years later and it’s inadequate, Lufke said.
    The facility consists of a number of mobile units. Luftke said there are problems with the heat, the air conditioning and the sewers.; and the floors have reached the point where they can’t be cleaned anymore.
    It is also no longer adequate for the training EMTs are now required to get. Lufke said that training, in the past was lecture only. Now, it requires hands-on training with break-out sessions for small groups of students. Lufke said they need rooms, which the current center does not have, for these.
    “In the current facility, it is no longer possible to do this effectively,” she said.
    Lufke said they need to move into a new training facility within two years and also need better training equipment and better places to store what they have so it won’t get damaged.