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New Digest

September 13, 2008

Following is a summary of recent news events in Bedford and Franklin counties.

SEPT. 9

Bedford supervisors approve tower location

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors quickly and without much discussion approved a special-use permit request for a cellphone tower on Monday.

In the absence of Chairman Steve Arrington at its Aug. 25 meeting, the board had opted to postpone action on the request until all supervisors were present. At the same meeting, the board unanimously approved a request from the same carrier, AT&T, for another tower at a different site.

The board approved the request by a 5-2 vote, with Supervisors Roger Cheek and Gary Lowry voting against it.

The tower will be on Virginia 122, north of Virginia 24, in Moneta. According to the county’s planning staff, it is one of eight sites that AT&T has planned to offer continuous coverage along the county’s most-traveled corridors.

In other news, the board voted to hold a public hearing Sept. 24 to consider eliminating the motor vehicle license fee, also known as the decal fee. Because the current fee generates about $2 million for the county, it will be rolled into the personal property tax so revenue is not lost. Changing the personal property assessment methodology also will be considered at the hearing. Currently, the county tax rate is $8.50 per $100 assessed based on 20 percent of the retail value. The proposed rate is $2.35 per $100 based on the full trade-in value.

— Courtney Cutright

Rocky Mount Town Council rejects trail

The Rocky Mount Town Council gave the red light Monday to the Pigg River Heritage Trail, a project in the works for two years.

On the table was a request to approve town staff to apply to the Transportation Enhancement Program through the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The grant program could provide $1 million over three or four years if approved, town planning administrator Paul Stockwell said.

The 2.25-mile trail, the first of its kind in Rocky Mount, is expected to cost $1.25 million, and the town would be responsible for the remaining costs.

The council unanimously voted not to apply for the grant Many council members wanted more questions answered and more of a consensus from property owners before proceeding with the grant.

— Janelle Rucker

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