Construction on major improvements along Washington Street, aka Route 50, aka the Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway, aka Middleburg’s main street has begun in earnest.
On October 8 Town Administrator Martha Semmes reported to Town Council on plans and progress to date, following her return from a VDOT “Route 50 Project Meeting” attended by at least forty people, “not including staff.”
Parking dislocation for both business and town residents appear to have been high on the list of concerns.
In response Semmes has developed a list of parking lots available for public use and spoke with the National Sporting Library and Museum, which agreed to put much of its parking space at the Town’s disposal for the duration, at no cost.
Updates to both VDOT’s construction schedule and parking alternatives may be found on the Town’s website (now at www.middleburgva.gov), its Facebook Pages, and those of the Middleburg Police Department.
Middleburtg Police Chief A.J. Panebianco announced his Department’s Facebook page had attracted well over 1,200 visits within the first day of its posting.
Middleburg Police Chief A.J. Panebianco expressed his appreciation for the hard work of his officers and staff in preparing for what all hoped would be a relatively short period of serious VDOT construction-related inconvenience and the Salamander Film Festival.
The Middleburg Police Department will also be providing support for the filming of a documentary film “about a bicyclist,” the Chief told Council.
Panebianco also reported that an intensive training course for Federal Air Marshalls held in Middleburg over the course of the past several months has been completed. The town, arguably, had more armed protection per capita during that period than any other town in the country, all of it, of course, probably unnoticed given the nature of the Air Marshal program.
The Chief also reviewed for Council the work of the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), which he described as “ . . . an organization that offered lessons when an individual received a DUI or under the influence charge so they would not do it again. “
After presenting a copy of their annual report noted that the organization was self-funded, and thus operated “ . . . at no cost to Middleburg other than a bit of his time.”
INOVA Loudoun CEO Patrick Walters appeared before Council on October 8 to provide an update the organization’s new programs and master plan. Walters, a 40-year veteran with INOVA Loudoun has served as CEO for the last four years.
INOVA Loudoun, he said, employs roughly 1,400 people directly and has working relationships with around 700 physicians. It serves seventeen thousand patients admitted for overnight stays each year and serves some 70,000 people per year in its emergency rooms.
Walters noted that “ . . . while Loudoun County was a very wealthy county, there were also a lot people with no insurance or who had Medicaid. He reported that last year, sixteen percent of their emergency room patients did not have insurance and twelve percent had Medicaid.”
In the Middleburg area, Walters, said, INOVA Loudoun had “a long-term partnership with Glenwood Park,” left in trust by Daniel Sands with revenues designated for use by the hospital “to support patients without care insurance.” The Park had recently hosted the Fall Races and a Southern BBQ. Health/wellness presentations are regularly scheduled at the Middleburg Community Center, and INOVA Loudoun often teams with A Place To Be for music therapy.
Noting that the hospital INVOVA Loudoun’s Lansdowne faciltiy “was undersized from the day it opened,” Walters reported that redevelopment of the Cornwell Campus in Leesburg was a first priority
A new health flex facility opens this month at the intersection of the Loudoun County Parkway and the Greenway, “with twenty-four hour emergency room services, as well as imaging and physician services.”
In November construction begins on a new bed tower, a new birthing unit and an Intensive Care Unit double it current size. Walters noted, “they hoped to have the facility complete in 2019 and open in 2020. “
Water and Sewer
Terry Inboden, of IES reported that the Town’s new water treatment facilities had processed some 4.6 million gallons of water last year, and that water retuned to local streams by the facility was “cleaner than the stream itself.”
Imboden also confirmed IES was not keeping as large an inventory of water in the system as before, and by doing so were better able to handle heavy rainfall events.
Currently Imboden is working with his team’s night shift in order to flush the Town’s water lines. According to Imboden IES was using a lot of water and “flushing the lines long and hard in order to scrub “stuff” from the mains.”
As a sure sign of Winter, Town Administrator Martha Semmes reported that Tilton Enterprises had been awarded the Town’s snow removal contract for the upcoming season. Tilton had helped the former contractor, Bart Wines, in the past. Wines, she reported, “was not available this year as he was having shoulder surgery. “
Councilmember Kevin Hazard noted that the Town’s Planning Commission is currently “exploring changes to the Town’s building height restrictions.”
A few years ago, Hazard pointed out, the Town had reduced the height limit in the R-2 District from thirty-five to thirty feet. In anticipation of changes in the Town’s R-3 District, Hazard said, the Commission “believed it should look at changing the height limit there as well.”
He confirmed that the Commission’s main goal was “to keep development in conformance with what the remainder of the town was like on a scale basis.”
Credit Card Limit Raised
Middleburg’s official Town Credit Cards are currently are currently limited to no more than $1,000 in charges each. According to Town Administrator Semmes, that sometimes creates problems “when purchasing large items, such as the new television for the Council Chambers.”
In response to her request, Council voted to increase the limit on both the Town Administrator’s and Economic Development Coordinator’s credits cards to $2,500 each.