By CALVIN PYNN
Highway matters became a big topic of discussion at Monday night’s Board of Supervisors meeting, as the Board received work updates as well as larger issues from VDOT’s David Clark.
Perhaps the most prominent point of that discussion was an update on the Newbern Truck Prohibition request, which had been discussed at previous meetings. This concern was brought up by members of the New River Historical Society, as the Wilderness Road Regional Museum is located in Newbern.
Although truck traffic through the area has been lighter during the holidays it has still been an issue in Newbern during the colder months. Julia Kriss, a Newbern resident and active member of the New River Historical Society, spoke to the board, pointing out that dump trucks and tractor-trailers still present a problem.
“Newbern is a historic, people oriented, and visitor oriented community that we need to protect,” said Kriss. “Self policing isn’t going to be the ultimate answer to keeping heavy truck driving out of Newbern.”
According to Kriss, discipline from the Quarry, as well as the truck drivers themselves, has not helped calm the situation. She suggested that a long-term solution could be found in enforcing technical restrictions on trucks that travel through Newbern, such as axle number, weight, or other restrictions to that effect.
Massie District Supervisor Andy McCready pointed out that a sign has been posted at the quarry encouraging trucks not to drive though Newbern. As with previous meetings, McCready also pointed out that such heavy traffic can be attributed to the fact that Newbern is a hub of commerce in the county, citing the area’s history.
“In the early years of Pulaski, Newbern was a major thoroughfare for settlers going west,” said McCready. “It’s still a hub of commerce whether we want it to be or not, because there are a lot of things going on on either side.”
McCready also expressed his concern that closing off any road could send a message that business is unwanted in the area, therefore going against the county’s recent economic progress.
The Board ultimately came to the conclusion that a public hearing would be required before a decision can be made to restrict trucks through Newbern. A majority vote led to a motion being passed to hold a hearing at a later date to move along with the decision.
Other items discussed during the meeting included the recognition of Town Manager Shawn Utt, who was honored for his services as the County’s Community Development Director. The resolution was adopted by the Board during their December meeting.
The Board also moved to rezone properties at Spence Lane in Newbern from Residential (R1) to Agricultural (A1), as well as to vacate 165 ft. of unimproved right of way adjacent to Panorama Way in Dublin.
A Community Development Block Grant, which could help cover the Baskerville Housing Rehabilitation project, Tornado Recovery project, Adult Day Care and Fall Prevention project was also discussed.