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Supervisors will  consider resolution to pursue broadband towers ‘more vigorously’ 

Middle school plan discussion also set for Thursday

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fauquier county board of supervisors

The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors will hold a closed-door meeting on Thursday to “discuss personnel matters related to specific identified individuals.”

Catherine “Katie” Heritage,  deputy  county  administrator, was placed on administrative leave last week; officials declined to comment on whether the closed-door meeting is related.  

Also at Thursday’s meeting,  Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run) will  sponsor a resolution related to broadband expansion. His resolution would “pursue the tower incentive program more rigorously,” he said, and withdraw the previous acceptance of two proposals by firms that would have expanded the fiber network in the county, although the resolution would not drop the fiber program.  

“We needed to do something fast,” Gerhardt said in an interview. “It was clear that [the tower incentive program] was going to put broadband in the hands of people who don’t currently have access.”  

Gerhardt said expanding the fiber network could still be a part of future initiatives, but that pushing ahead with wireless broadband using towers is more efficient.

“When a constituent calls saying ‘I don’t have broadband,'” calls supervisors receive frequently, “this [plan] addresses the immediate need,” Gerhardt said.  

The  board of  supervisors is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. on Thursday,  Feb. 13,  for a work session .

 The board’s  regular meeting, which will include a public hearing, begins  at 6:30  p.m. 

The work session will include discussion  on  the four options related to Fauquier County middle schools  proposed at the Jan. 29 meeting of members of both the school  board and the board of supervisors.  

The  Fauquier County School  Board is considering which middle schools will be renovated or expanded and when. Cedar  Lee  Middle School is already  slated for renovation and expansion.  The school board would like to add  Auburn  Middle School  to the plan; it  could be completed  concurrently with Cedar Lee. 

Both  Taylor  and  Warrenton  middle  school s are also being considered. One school would remain a middle school; the other would be converted to another education-related facility.  The school board will  make a final proposal to the board of supervisors,  and supervisors  would decide whether to fund the plan. 

An ongoing  topic,  the revenue and expenses from the  county landfill and residential collection sites,  are also on the agenda for the work session, along with the  Healthy Watersheds Forest Retention Project  and  the 2020 census. 

Two items  are slated for public hearings: 

  • DC Skydiving Center  is seeking to relocate its base of operations to the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.  The airport manager has already negotiated a lease with the company,  which the  board must approve or deny after a public hearing.  

  • A hearing will also be held on whether to amend  a zoning ordinance to change the minimum size of a  plot in  a  business park zoning district from acres to 3 acres.  The Fauquier County Planning Commission unanimously recommended the amendment at a meeting last month.  

Last week, a  request for a special-exemption permit to create a  resort and events center, The Sanctuary at Barrel Oak, was withdrawn from  this  meeting’s  public hearing  agenda. Brian Roeder, the owner of  Barrel Oak Winery and Farm  Taphouse  in Delaplane, said that his request  was unlikely to be approved  at the current time, so he withdrew it. 

Other  items  for the regular meeting include:  

  • A resolution  to  amend  the  board  of  supervisors’  legislative  proposals  for the 2020 General Assembly  session. 

  • A  resolution to  support  proposed  improvements to the Lee Highway (U.S.  15/29) and Colonial Road/Dumfries Road (Route 605)  intersection.  

  • A  resolution to  amend the FY 2020  adopted  budget by $301,130.  

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