A current quarrel between school representatives and city officials has delayed the plans for the Lynnhaven River channel dredging.
Intending to build a dredge transfer station, the city has asked the school division to sell 1 acre of riverfront property next to Thalia Elementary School. The station is needed for picking up and transporting muck taken from the bottom of the river’s western branch channel.
The School Board showed interest when the city officials offered to pay $252,800 for the property and upon a promise was given that the transfer station would not disturb school operations. However, this was the case before the city had introduced new utility poles in front of Kempsville Elementary.
“That was a considerable break in faith, a change from the plan,” aid School Board Chairman, Dan Edwards.
“To me, that raises concerns about the implementation of the city’s plans at Thalia Road. It’s a matter of trust” said Edwards.
The city’s decision was to allocate $85,000 for displacing two of the four poles however the estimations made by the official show that the whole activity will cost at least $500,000.
Deputy City Manager, Dave Hansen has the intention to meet the school officials next week in order to reach a solution.
Hansen stressed that the dredging project is behind schedule for over a year and that the current conditions are enabling recreational boaters to get through the channel.
According to Edward, the Thalia project is a good proposition, however he no longer believes that an industrial dredging operation next to an elementary school is a good idea.
Dredging Today Staff, November 25, 2011;