COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Historic Crozet Streetscape Enhancement Project – Phase 2

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Authorize the County Executive to sign the revised Dominion Power Agreement for the relocation of utility lines on Crozet Avenue

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Herrick, Letteri, and Kelsey

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

November 5, 2008

 

ACTION:                INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:   X          INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND:

The County entered into an Agreement with Dominion Virginia Power dated May 5, 2008 (Attachment C) after approval by the Board on April 2, 2008.  The Agreement is for the relocation of the overhead utility lines as part of the Crozet Streetscape project.  This relocation would extend a new “primary” line down High Street using the existing power poles, turn west at Tabor Street, and follow the north side of Tabor Street to the existing “primary” line on Crozet Avenue (south of Jarmans Gap Road).  New poles would be necessary along the north side of Tabor Street and a few trees would have to be removed.

 

Staff met with the property owners along Tabor Street to discuss the relocation plan and Dominion Virginia Power easements that would need to be granted.  The owners expressed concerns about the aesthetic impact to the historical nature of Tabor Street, future enhancement plans for Tabor Church, the loss of specimen trees and significant screening shrubs, and potential health impacts of the overhead wire electromagnetic transmissions to a family member of one owner who suffers from Crohn’s disease.  The owners did not support the plan and would not agree to grant the necessary easements unless the power lines were placed underground.  Letters received from the owners along Tabor Street are enclosed for reference (Attachment B).

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal One:  Enhance the Quality of Life for all Albemarle County Residents.

Goal Three:  Develop Policies and Infrastructure Improvements to Address the County’s Growing Needs

 

DISCUSSION:

Alternatives were discussed by County and Dominion Virginia Power staff, and it was decided that a reasonable and affordable solution would be to install the new wire underground and outside of the right-of-way by the use of a “Guide Drill”.  This installation method would minimize the land disturbance and allow the existing specimen trees and shrubs to remain, but would increase the estimated cost of $307,563.68 set forth in the May 5, 2008 Agreement to $351,553.64.  Dominion Virginia Power revised the Agreement to incorporate the changes in design and cost (Attachment A).  The revised design addresses the concerns expressed by the owners and will help assure their support.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

This project is being funded through the Capital Improvements Plan, with partial funding coming from a VDOT Transportation Enhancement Grant.  A line item, budget code and budget estimate of $600,000 have been specifically assigned to this portion of the project, so this change is well within budget.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board authorize the County Executive to sign the attached amended Dominion Virginia Power Agreement (Attachment A) for the relocation of utility lines in Crozet.

 

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment A: Dominion Power Agreement - Revised

Attachment B: Letters from Tabor Street Owners

Attachment C: Dominion Power Agreement - 5 May 2008

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