( 0 Votes )

Scottsville Even though there were plenty of activities during the month of December to keep everyone busy, the Scottsville town governing body remained dedicated to town business. There was activity in several ongoing projects and work begun on new projects – all destined to improve both the town itself and those who call it home.
With town finances in good shape, the Town Council made several expenditures over the past several months, each with the welfare of the town as the motivating factor.

Sidewalk project advances
With the approval of Town Council, the Timmons Group, a well-known civil engineering company based in Richmond, was enlisted to do a preliminary engineering study of a proposed sidewalk project linking “downtown” Scottsville to the “uptown” economic area.

Phase one of the project calls for a sidewalk with associated improvements from the area of Warren Street along Valley Street to the area of the intersection between Route 6 and Route 20. Phase two would continue from that point up Route 6 to James River Road.

The cost of phase one is estimated to be around $2 million while phase two would cost an additional $850,000. There are several grant programs available to funds projects such as this one. The Scottsville Planning Commission and town administrator, with the help of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, are working to find the best grant program to finance this project.
Comprehensive plan
Every five years the town’s comprehensive plan must, by law, be updated to reflect changes in demographics, land use, and future plans – to name a few subjects covered. The plan was last reviewed in 2013. The Scottsville Planning Commission, under the leadership of Chairman Bill Hyson, has spent the last several months combing through this 74-page document updating data and making necessary revisions.

When the final version is complete in a couple of months, it will be presented for public comments and approval by the Council.

Short-term rentals
The Planning Commission is also gathering data on the way other localities regulate short-term rentals such as Airbnbs. The state of Virginia passed a new law that went into effect July 1 of last year that gives localities the authority to impose rules on the practice of renting rooms on a short-term basis. Areas of concern include zoning, health and safety, registration and taxes on rental fees. Albemarle County is in the process of formulating a policy covering this and Scottsville is waiting to see what the county will do.

Town manager
Since former Town Manager George Goodwin retired last May, the town has been searching for a replacement. Town Clerk Amy Moyer has been serving in the role of acting town manager since Goodwin’s retirement. The town has received over 30 applications for the position. The quest to find a new manager is in its final stages and an announcement should be made in the very near future, according to Mayor Nancy Gill.

Architectural project
The University of Virginia architectural students who used Scottsville as their “classroom” for the fall semester have completed their course and presented to the town a detailed report of what they accomplished and the comments generated from their study of the town. The complete report is available online or may be viewed in print form at the town office.

Joint meetings
In December and January the Scottsville Planning Commission and the Architectural Review Board (ARB) held joint meetings for the purpose of discussing a state program known as the Certified Local Government Program. Towns that qualify for the program have certain benefits relating to the historic nature of the town. Criteria deal with the historic area and the town finds it needs to make some adjustment to the Historic Overlay District. The Planning Commission and ARB are jointly working on this in order that Scottsville may receive any benefits it deserves. ARB Chairman Jeffrey Plank is developing a letter for the public explaining reasons behind this project and will have that available in the near future.

There is a lot going on in Scottsville. Mayor Gill reminded everyone that “volunteerism is what makes things work.”

“There is always a need for dedicated volunteers,” she added, “and all you have to do is contact the town office or show up for a meeting.”