Questions cost of new Catawba Road bridge


My June 11, 2014 letter to you mentioned the original cost to replace a culvert at the intersection of Catawba Road and Etzler Road was $6.3 million.

The April 29, 2015 letter in your paper stated the project is estimated to cost $7.85 million– about $155,000 under the original estimate of $8 million. This statement doesn’t square with the original estimate of $6.3 million.

The first two-lane bridge was opened for public use, and then a second two-lane bridge was built attached to the first bridge, making it a four-lane bridge in the middle of a two-lane highway. The final bridge was opened to the public in December of 2016.

My questions are:

1. What was the final cost of the total project?

2. Why was the first bridge opened to the public if a second bridge had to be built?

Robert E. Lockhart


Concerned that new council member causing division


As most of you know, there is a new member of the Buchanan Town Council who is the “new eyes and ears” for the town. Examples of his suggestions are the addition of pole lamp lights on the south side of town for Pico Road and Mount Joy Road and lampposts north on Route 11 into town.

I wonder if he has done any research regarding the cost of putting the lamp light poles in or the additional cost for the electricity use for them. This was reemphasized following the complaint of a woman whose concern was having to pay monthly for water that she did not use.

I wonder if residents of the town will be concerned regarding the cost of putting those lights in and the cost of electricity for the lights, referencing the location of the light poles. What about those of us who would be paying for electricity that we do not use? That is the purpose of headlights.

Oh, and he would like to add new signs at the south and north ends of the town limits like those in Troutville … he also voted against adding new secure and safe window structures on the food stands on the carnival grounds for the low cost around $8,000; because they are in the flood zone, which is a more important reason for having them. The carnival brings many people to town, which brings in money to the carnival ground stands, in addition to the money they spend uptown while in Buchanan.

He had the audacity to read a letter during the last Town Council meeting from a gentleman, who, by the way, was not at the meeting, which accused the mayor of being rude to office employees. I was on the Town Council for 10 years and usually visited the office often and never observed any behavior from Mayor Hall that would negate any employee’s behavior. If any of you have worked with him, you know he is always professional, polite and most concerned for the welfare of the Town of Buchanan.

This new member should first know and understand the protocol for internal affairs regarding the Town Council and town employees. My concern is that this new “eyes and ears” to the Town Council is beginning to incite problems for those in office which may also result in concerns for the members of the Town of Buchanan… perhaps causing a division in the town’s people.

Ardelia Smith,


Appreciates Animal Control’s efforts with piglet


My husband and I want to express our sincere appreciation for and give our thanks to the sheriff’s deputies responsible for Animal Control.

For 10 days, we played unwilling hosts to a 6-week-old piglet whose main occupation was digging up the flowerbeds in search of grubs. We were astonished how much damage a small pig can do!

Officers May, Gossett and Stewart delivered a trap for us, set and baited it, and checked with us by phone several times a day. They also drove by to check the trap in person. They were professional, patient and sympathetic. As the days passed without capture, they remained attentive to our problem. If I phoned with information, an officer would respond within minutes.

We were amazed to get such prompt and friendly attention to what was really a very small problem considering the others they must have had to handle during the 10 days. When the animal finally was trapped, a deputy came immediately to make sure it was picked up by its owners.

I’d also like to mention the very helpful owners of the piglet who did everything in their power to help catch her, including one mad chase through nearby woods and fields. The friendliness and concern of Botetourt County residents is an ongoing pleasure for us and we are delighted to live here.

I only met the three deputies named above. If anyone else helped catch the pig, I apologize for not knowing them by name and thank them as well. It was worth the inconvenience to meet such outstanding officers and count the pig owners as new friends.

Thank you for helping us let Animal Control how grateful we are.

Theodosia M. Evans