Tonight, the Town of South Boston held their own public comment section about the proposed 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Barry Tuck made a speech and he wants to share it with our readers.
Dear members of the Town Council, Town Manager Ted Daniels and Respective Mayor, Carroll Thackston
As the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Continues to contribute much stress and concern among business owners and the general public, it is obvious that the concern is focused on Riverdale. I feel, if the Downtown businesses can get the conveniences of a new face lift, new sidewalks, landscaping, street lights, and so on, why can’t the Town of South Boston at least assist beautifying Riverdale instead of tearing down one of the most historic and revenue producing area of business in the Town? The town replies with, why spend money in a flood plain. This is contradictory to plan spending millions of tax payer dollars on a lighthouse and wetlands park?
The owners fear that they are being pushed out of business. We have heard many times from councilmen and planning commissioners that the Comp Plan does not say we are forcing them out. But your Comp Plan does, however, assume the Town will manipulate and monopolize the Riverdale area for the future plan to create a Wetlands park with the excuse that these businesses are in a flood zone. When asked the question, “Won’t the flood destroy or cause severe damage to the park?” I can never get a legit answer. Maybe this is why.
In my research I have found that, The Dan River is the current controversy between NC and VA since the River winds in out of the two states. Many counties are involved, as is Halifax County according to the minutes of the State Water Control Board meeting. About 25 miles upriver from South Boston and about 10 miles down from Danville is where the River winds in to NC for about 10 miles. The City of Roxboro has proposed to purchase 30 million gallons of water per day to be taken and used as drinking water, meanwhile lowering the water level of the Dan River. Keep in mind the Dan River is still what flows into the Kerr Lake Reservoir. The Kerr Lake Reservoir Water is then released into the upper end of Lake Gaston to where VA Beach owns Water rights to withdraw 60 million gallons of water per day. My point is, in a few years what are the chances of these businesses being flooded with all this water being pulled from every direction of the Dan River. I am led to believe that it could possibly be the Town’s motive to purchase this land; The Army Corp of Engineers will no longer deem Riverdale as a Flood Plain and then be the owner of Commercial Property. Again, my opinion of how the Town will manipulate these business owners in the game of monopoly for self gain.
This is why I have come to the conclusion that the Town Council not adopt the Comp Plan but send back to the Planning Commission for revising, as so stated possible in the VA Code of Law Section § 15.2-2227. The Towns Mission statement I found on www.southboston.com states the commitment to “The highest ideals of integrity, fairness and trust ; Clear, concise communication with the public ; Progressive thinking and problem solving through employee involvement and teamwork, and recognize the Town residents are its customers and deserve the highest quality service its government can provide”
The Va Code of Law also states that, Public Participation, Section 2.2-4007.02 ,be respected and involved. Nowhere has this current Comp. Plan incorporated any of the public’s ideas and interest that these people have repeatedly requested. I would like to see that changed in the revision of the Comp. Plan because as you have stated, “The Town residents are its customers and deserve the highest quality service its government can provide.”