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Culpeper sheriff may get space



Date published: 11/8/2012

BY DONNIE JOHNSTON

A new facility near Culpeper County's Emergency Operations Center could help provide much-needed space for the county Sheriff's Office.

New construction at the EOC site is one of three plans the Board of Supervisors decided to explore during its Wednesday meeting.

The others included building an addition onto or adjacent to the existing jail and providing office space at the recently acquired former Virginia Department of Transportation site on Industry Drive.

Environmental Services Director P.J. Howard told the board that the EOC site would be the most economical.

"It would cost about $1.7 million to build between the jail and the courthouse and about half a million to build at the EOC center," Howard said.

He did not give an estimate on how much it would cost to relocate part of the Sheriff's Office to the Industry Drive site.

"It makes more sense to do it there," Supervisor Sue Hansohn said of the 13-acre EOC location, which is designed for expansion.

She added that even though a new building between the jail and the courthouse might be more convenient to other sheriff's facilities, a severe lack of parking in the downtown area would be a major problem.

Supervisor Bradley Rosenberger said the EOC location would be better because it is farther from the railroad tracks than the other two sites.

"If we should happen to have a toxic waste spill along the railroad, we could be in trouble," he said.

Supervisor John Coates suggested a fourth possibility--using the old Municipal Building, which is adjacent to the present Sheriff's Office location, for expansion.

That would mean shifting the commonwealth's attorney's and the real-estate reassessment offices to another location.

The board set no deadline for a decision.

In other business Wednesday:

Jenny Biche of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission told the supervisors that shuttle service between Culpeper and Charlottesville, with a stop in Madison, is now available.

She said the program, being administered under a grant, allows riders to go from Culpeper to Charlottesville for $3 or pay $5 for a round trip.

Biche said that the shuttle is averaging 275 riders a month, mostly for doctors' appointments at Charlottesville hospitals.

She said reservations could be made by calling 540/445-1286.

Economic Development Director Carl Sachs told the board that 1,352 people took part in the farm tour in early October. Almost 800 of those were county residents.

He added that a survey showed that those who took the tour spent more than $100,000 in Culpeper during the two-day event.

The board voted to ask VDOT to place "Watch for Children" signs along Dulin Drive in the Waterloo section of the county.

Donnie Johnston:
Email: djohnston@freelancestar.com