During the Sept. 10 Fincastle Town Council meeting, members received an update on expanding the small park adjacent to Back Street and Breckinridge Elementary School. Town Manager David Tickner said a right-of-way vacation is a critical element of the property purchase agreement between Borden’s Run, LLC, the town and Fincastle Presbyterian Church. Under current plans, the present owner would sell 2.5 acres of the 5-acre parcel to the town, 2 acres to the Fincastle Presbyterian Church and keep half an acre, which includes a house. The park is presently three-fourths an acre.
Tickner said the Big Spring Park Committee “wants to do some park planning,” during an upcoming work day. The planning session may include a group “walk around” to help members brainstorm concepts and space usage. Two ideas currently under consideration are a walking path between the park and Breckinridge Elementary School and reopening the small spring flowing under the park.
Currently, the spring is sealed by rocks, leaving many not knowing Fincastle and Botetourt County was once a tourist destination for spa seekers. The mineral springs surrounding the town were popular healing destinations in the 19th century, according the Botetourt County 250th Anniversary guide. Another source states the mineral springs in Botetourt County were well known and used by the who’s who of early American history, including President Andrew Jackson and Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, a French military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War. The springs in this area contained magnesia, sulphur and carbonic acids.
“We would like to perhaps open up the spring and at least have a small pool where people can put their feet into,” Tickner said.
At the Sept. 10 meeting, council was slated to hold a public hearing on a Special Use Permit for a commercial kennel at 6406 and 6376 Blue Ridge Turnpike owned by Peggy L. Goad. The permit was requested by Atasha Loboschefski to operate the kennel, but the permit was tabled at the Aug. 24 Fincastle Planning Commission meeting after members sought additional information on the site and business plans from Goad.
There’s a possibility the Planning Commission could send the permit to Council at its next meeting on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. Town Council could receive it the request at its 7 p.m. when its monthly meeting starts, where a public hearing might be scheduled for a later date, said Tickner.