By Matt de Simone
Fincastle Town Council met at the Old District Courthouse for their monthly meeting last Thursday.
The council accepted the recommendation of the Planning Commission. It approved the rezoning of the properties identified as Botetourt County Tax Parcel 73A-41A, with a physical address of 8254 Roanoke Road, Fincastle, from Business District B-1 to Low-Density Residential R-1 and Botetourt County Tax Parcel 73A-8, with a physical address of 245 Herndon Street, Fincastle, from Agricultural A-1 to Low-Density Residential R-1.
The council also accepted the recommendation and approved the old Hagan Law Offices rezoning at 26 East Main Street from Low-Density Residential to Public, with possible proffers. The Botetourt County Historical Museum purchased the property to relocate during the courthouse reconstruction.
The museum needs a home while the courthouse area is being remodeled. The county plans to move the existing museum to another location in the square. This property provides the museum with a temporary home if there is an issue and the building does not make the transition. If that were to occur, the museum would have a new home. The Historical Society submitted some proffers stating that if the building is not used for a museum or office, it reverts to low-density residential. The Planning Commission and Town Council thanked the museum for its desire to stay located in Fincastle.
The council discussed the Request for Proposals for engineering services for the work conducted at Big Spring Park. As a part of the grant process, both the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation require engineering services for the project before any work begins. The bids open at noon on December 31, 2021.
The council discussed the sidewalk renovation on Back Street in front of the Presbyterian Church. The town conducted those renovations without any financial assistance from any other organization. Since 2014, the town has expended almost $800,000 in sidewalks renovations throughout the town. A significant part is the Fincastle Pedestrian Improvements project in 2014 through a TEA grant with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The council directed Town Manager David Tickner to proceed with a proposed I&I study conducted by RK&K Engineers. According to the Western Virginia Water Authority, “inflow and infiltration (I&I) is a phenomenon whereby stormwater and groundwater enter the wastewater system. This water, which should drain into the ground or be routed to storm drains, can overload the wastewater system causing sewage overflows to creeks, backups in basements, and impaired operations at the (treatment plant).”
The town experienced significant I&I during important storm events, which pushed the capacity at the wastewater treatment plant. The town will identify where stormwater is getting into the sewer system and fix those places by conducting a study. The project is being funded through the town’s allocations from the American Recovery Plan Act.