Council May Purchase More Land For HHS2

By LAINE GRIFFIN
Daily News-Record  9/23/19
 
HARRISONBURG — At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, officials will consider renaming a portion of Hillcrest Drive and a supplemental appropriation of $153,000 to purchase additional land for the new high school.
Council will consider approving a supplemental appropriation of $153,000 to buy additional land because city staff has determined that it is needed in regard to offsite street improvements.
If approved, the money will be moved from the city’s General Fund budget to the School’s Capital Projects budget, which will then increase by $153,000.
On Aug. 23, 2018, city representatives closed on a $5 million deal with James Madison University to buy 60 acres for the new Harrisonburg High School to be built.
The $ 5 million did not include the additional $ 25,000 in closing costs or the construction costs, which are around $76 million.
Michael Parks, the city’s director of communications, said the offsite improvements will aim to create a connection between the new school property and Boxwood Court.
Council will consider renaming a small portion of Hillcrest Drive to Cerrera Lane.
According to city documents, the request came after a recent subdivision and construction of a single-family home on the portion of Hillcrest Drive, which is on the south side of Port Republic Road.
The new parcel is the only parcel on the street. The location, however, would be indicated at the 1300 block of Hillcrest Drive, which is conflicting with the already existing block of Hillcrest Drive in Park View.
Renaming the portion of the road would bring less confusion for potential first responders, according to city documents.
The street name, Cerrera Lane, was vetted by Planning and Community Development staff and the City-County Emergency Communications Center.
Also on the agenda, the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is requesting to borrow up to $3,086,500 to build new aircraft hanger facilities, install or replace its fuel farm tanks and pay for the costs of the borrowing. The SVRA Commission will initially use Blue Ridge Bank for an interim financing and then convert the financing to long-term debt by a bond issuance to be purchased by the Rural Housing Service, which is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.
According to city documents, since the city is a member of the SVRA Commission, the city must approve the borrowed money. The city will not incur any liability for the borrowing of the money.
The SVRA approved the borrowing amount following a public hearing held on Aug. 21.
Staff recommended approval of the resolution.
In other news, there will be an update on the Public Access Permit Program by Thomas Hartman, director of Public Works.
Currently, the department allows PAP to anyone working within the city’s right-of-way doing work in places such as private and commercial entrances, underground and above ground telecommunication lines and gas lines among other things.
To receive a PAP, one must fill out a one-page application, which must be reviewed and approved by the Public Works Department.
The current application does not include any fee or bonding requirements and does not include permit lengths or expiration dates.
The new PAP, which is anticipated to become effective Nov. 4, will have seven changes, which include: 1. A non-refundable $100 application fee for any submitted PAP.
2. Additive fees for permitted activities that vary per activity. These offset the inspection costs associated with these types of activities.
3. Surety requirements based on the value of the work performed in the right-of-way.
4. Permit expiration dates and reinstatement fees if permit extensions are required.
5. Enhanced city department coordination with the utilization of the LAMA permitting system.
6. Provisions for the allowance of “Microtrenching” fiber optic conduit placement within city right-of-way.
7. Provisions for the allowance of Small Cell Wireless facilities to be placed within city right-of-way.
Council meets Tuesday at 7 p. m. at City Hall, 409 S. Main St.