South Boston Public Works employees laid gravel on the end of Bane Street on Wednesday morning in an attempt to repair some of the asphalt in the area, but they could only go roughly 100 feet, according to John Hatcher of South Boston Public Works.
Anything beyond that, he said, is not town property.
“It’s not our property, but we try to keep it up,” town manager Tom Raab said Wednesday.
But, just beyond a knoll on Bane Street as one drives into West Side Mobile Home Park are pot holes that no one would want to drive over, unkempt grass, dilapidated mobile homes that are in need of demolition, hills of debris that appear to be pieces of demolished mobile homes, unsightly homes and trash.
That property is one of the properties owned by Wayne Stevens, LCC, so therefore, Raab explained the town cannot get any financial assistance for paving the rest of the road. However, he does plan to be in touch with the owner of the mobile home park.
Tammy Dunn of Wayne Stevens, LLC said she also would like the property to look nicer and currently has a contract set with an individual to demolish some of the nuisance properties, but she said it’s taking some time.
She also said she has cleaned up the area before, but it reverted.
“Let’s work together and be more successful,” said Dunn.
And the mobile home park is just one part of the Sinai area that Anthony Womack brought to South Boston Town Council members’ attention Monday evening.
According to the residents there, the Sinai area is considered from Woodlawn Park to Sinai Elementary School, and not only would they like the trailer park to be cleaned up, but they also would like a sidewalk installed along Route 654 (Sinai Road) for families to safely walk from apartments to Sunny Quick Shop and would like a park with a playground in a centralized area.
That was the consensus that Womack and nine other volunteers received from community residents when they surveyed the area for petition signatures and to hear community concerns for two days.
Womack’s main concern is how dangerous it is for residents to be walking alongside Sinai Road.
He went on to say several pedestrians have been struck.
“It’s not acceptable, and we’ve been doing it for years,” said Womack.
Over the years, he said, the area residents have been promised by local officials of talks for streetlights, a park and sidewalk, but no one has followed through.
“There’s a lot of mistrust and a lot of pain,” said Womack.
He also said if they ask for something, it’s because they truly know they need it.
“We know what we need to make it better,” Womack added.
It also has gotten to the point of who do they turn to for assistance.
When Womack approached council, Raab told Womack the portion of Highway 654 in the Sinai community where they would like a sidewalk is outside of the town limits and under Halifax County’s jurisdiction.
Raab explained the sidewalk idea had been brought up a few years before, but shortly after former country administrator Jim Halasz resigned, and the request “got lost in the shuffle.”
He admitted that it should have been brought back to the forefront, and he has already been in talks with current county administrator Scott Simpson to address it.
Jay Craddock of VDOT said on Wednesday that the topic of sidewalk did come up in February of 2018, but no application was ever made.
He said the town of South Boston’s superintendent of public works inquired about sidewalks, and VDOT’s local assistance engineer for the Lynchburg District provided him with information on VDOT’s local assistance program and how to apply for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), but “nothing came of it.”
Craddock explained most sidewalks are funded through TAP, and the locality, he said, is typically responsible for 20% of the total cost.
The cost, he said, would vary depending on right of way needed, utility conflicts and other variables.
The call for Transportation Alternatives Program applications are biennially during odd-numbered years with applications due in the fall, and allocations will be made for the two subsequent fiscal years, according to VDOT’s website.
It also states all applications must be submitted electronically through the Department’s SMART Portal application system.
Before an application can be submitted, a public information meeting must be held notifying the community, and the county must pass a resolution of support for the project, according to VDOT’s website.
Simpson, who was hired in December of 2018, first found out about the sidewalk issue this week.
“Tom (Raab) reached out to me earlier this week,” he added.
But, he said he’s “happy to dig into it,” and see what the scope of the project would be and figure out if there’s an available funding stream for it.