Town closer to starting study

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) is assisting the Town of Drakes Branch in activities leading up to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)-funded Flood Protection Study, according to a memorandum from CRC Executive Director Melody Foster.

“A meeting was held on Monday, Nov. 27, at the Town Hall with representatives of DCR, town officials, (Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department) and the CRC to review the draft agreement for the project with town officials and to also take the DCR representatives on a tour of the (Drakes Branch Municipal Building) and the downtown area affected by flooding and erosion issues,” Foster cited in the memorandum.

The memorandum also cited that the CRC assisted the town in developing the DCR-approved scope of work free of charge. The CRC will also be assisting the town in developing the request for proposals (RFP) to hire an engineer to

complete the study as previously requested for a fee of $1,750. At the Dec. 20 CRC meeting, Community Development Coordinator Todd Fortune said the RFP has been sent out and that work for the project is currently being advertised.

“We’re actually underway on this, about to get the study itself going, getting a consultant under contract … within the next couple (of) months,” Fortune said.

“Every time we go down there, they’ve actually marked the floor, and the first time we went down there — and this is just one example — there’s a crack in the floor about this big now, it’s this big,” Foster said, noting a sizable increase at a previous CRC meeting. “The walls have cracks in it; you can visibly see it pulling away.”

She said the building also floods often.

At the Nov. 15 CRC meeting, Foster said the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is providing $50,000 toward a floodplain study.

“They are providing $50,000 toward the study,” Foster said. “The cost has actually gone over that a little bit. The town is going to pick up the additional cost.”

She said the total project budget is $51,800.

“DCR representatives did state seeing pictures of the issues did not do them justice,” Foster cited in the Nov. 29 memorandum.

According to the memorandum, the town has the final draft of the agreement between DCR and the town for the Flood Protection Study as another item on the town agenda.