BRMCA Board Meeting President’s Note
The BRMCA board spent significant time November 13th at our monthly board meeting focusing on mountain road issues. As we near another winter driving season, we wanted to make sure that the roads are in as good a shape as we can make them before snow flies (again). Pam Larkins, our Prince William County roads coordinator also attended the meeting, and we had a good, wide-ranging discussion about the roads.
One weekend before, a group of board members drove every road on the mountain and updated our catalog of road issues. Roads POC Josh Weinstein complied that list and we reviewed it at the board meeting. It contains a long list of potholes, ditch problems, eroding roads and other issues. Ms. Larkins had already been working on task orders for two areas that we identified as priority repairs. The board authorized immediate repairs to two road areas. First, our roads contractor will replace a culvert that goes under Gore Drive next to the fire pond. That old culvert has washed out and the road is starting to collapse. Second, she identified a short (250 foot) section of South Lookout that has severely eroded and is impassible by fire or rescue vehicles. That section of South Lookout is on BRMCA right-of-way, but it was built by a private contractor in the early 1990’s. The board discussed the pro’s and con’s of repairing a section of road which is questionably part of the road system and not built to standards. Ultimately the board voted 6 to 1 to approve the task order, agreeing with the county’s recommendation that the current state of the road created a safety issue. The repairs on both areas will be done in the next two weeks, according to Ms. Larkins. Residents who drive the section of Gore by the fire pond will be detoured while that section of the road is replaced.
The board asked Ms. Larkins to write up task orders on a number of other road repairs. Those task orders will address pothole repairs, refilling the gravel barrels and fixing a ditch problem at the intersection of Nelson and Mercer which causes dangerous road icing in the winter. Once those orders come in and the amounts are known, the roads committee will review them against available funds and approve affordable repairs.
The board reviewed a longer-term roads upgrade plan with Ms. Larkins. It includes an estimated $200,000 in road construction. It includes building turn-arounds requested by the Evergreen Fire Department and includes work on North Lookout, Mercer, Duffy, Ridge, Jackson North and South, Warburton and Judy Terrace. The board has been working with the county to find the funds next year to pay for these improvements.
Ms. Larkin also notified the board that the county has not received any bids yet for the winter plowing contract and is urgently seeking bids from any contractors who wish to bid on plowing mountain roads.
The board also decided to close the clubhouse for the winter and winterize the pipes. Keeping the clubhouse heated at a low level to keep the pipes from freezing and to support occasional meetings cost over $600 in fuel oil bills last year. The low dues payment rate by mountain residents has forced the board to close the clubhouse to save money. Monthly board meetings for the months of December through April will be held at the Evergreen Fire House. Our next meeting will be 11th of December at 12 noon.
Best wishes for the holidays.