Courtland asks for traffic restriction

Published 11:54 am Friday, September 1, 2017

Concern about the “health, safety and welfare” of his fellow townspeople, Courtland Mayor Danny Williams came before the Southampton County Board of Supervisors on Monday. He requested a restriction on semi-trailer truck traffic through downtown. The limits of which would be from the intersection of Meherrin Road and Main Street to the new interchange under construction.
This past mid-July, Williams had sent a letter to County Administrator Mike Johnson stating, “The amount of truck traffic has been steadily increasing through the Town of Courtland. Main Street in Courtland is primarily residential and light commercial and has a speed limit of 35 mph. This atmosphere is not favorable to heavy truck traffic.”
He further asked for consideration of the request and that it be forwarded to the local representative of the Virginia Department of Transportation.”
Johnson told the board that it does have the authority to formally request the VDOT, but before so it might ”identify an alternate route.”
Vice chairman Ronnie West asked the mayor if the request is a matter of safety, to which Williams said, “It’s traffic, noise, safety, speed, wear and tear on roadway. There’s no real benefit of traffic coming through town. We’ve got a bypass.”
Supervisors Barry Porter recommended that the town council approach VDOT itself. But he and West cautioned that farm trucks would then have to go around town to get to the cotton gin.
Board ultimately agreed that the council can directly make the request.
Speaking of transportation, Commonwealth Transportation Board Commissioner Charles A. Kilpatrick, P.E., announced that his agency has scheduled nine public meetings throughout Virginia to give citizens “the opportunity to review materials produced by the agency staff and discuss specific projects or issues.”
He added in the letter sent to Johnson that both Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane and himself will co-host.
Those closest to Western Tidewater include the Chesapeake Conference Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, and at 800 Southpark Blvd., Colonial Heights, on Monday, Oct. 2. Both will begin with an open house at 4 p.m.
In other business, the public hearing for the Virginia Electric Power Company microwave tower took place with no other speakers than Dominion Virginia Energy representative Ben Saunders making a brief presentation about the tower.
Beth Lewis, secretary on the Planning Commission, first told the supervisors that the panel had recommended its approval in July. Further, she said the conditional use permit is for a microwave tower “so that Dominion Power can speak to other users. There would be no cell carriers.”
Saunders said the CUP and variance is to install the tower, which is self-supporting lattice microwave tower with generator and propane tank and shelter. It’s located about 4-1/2 miles outside city.
There would be a slot open for emergency communications.
West said it’s a valuable asset to the county and proposed approval, to which all said OK.