AMHERST — Amherst County will proceed with installing a new solid waste center for waste disposal on the 2000 block of Boxwood Farm Road.
The board of supervisors during its Oct. 15 meeting unanimously approved rezoning a 1-acre parcel from A-1, Agricultural Residential district, to P-1, Public Lands district, for a new center to replace an open dumpster site. The new center in northern Amherst County will be staffed and include a small building for an attendant, three containers each for trash disposal and recycling and a pair of compactors.
The measure comes as the county is working to have open dumpster containers done away with, said Jeremy Bryant, director of community development.
“We will be glad to have them gone,” Bryant said.
The property the new center will be located on is vacant; the home that once sat there had burned before the county purchased it, according to the application.
Carol Patterson, a resident of Boxwood Farm Road, supported the project during a public hearing.
“I’m delighted to think of getting rid of the older dumpsters,” she said.
Patterson said she hopes the final plans will include adequate fencing, careful monitoring, thorough maintenance and removal of a feral cat colony, which she described as a public health hazard.
“I think we’ve waited long enough so I certainly hope you proceed with it,” she said.
Bryant said a final site plan review process is forthcoming. County Administrator Dean Rodgers said the county anticipates the cost of the new center will be between $650,000 and $700,000. The county currently has three open container sites, including two others on U.S. 60 West slated to be closed in December with the planned opening of a new staffed solid waste center on that corridor, according to Rodgers. He said he plans to ask supervisors at a later time to keep the Boxwood Farm Road open containers operating until the new center there is built.
Also during the meeting, the board approved a resolution by the Holiday Lake 4-H Educational Center in Appomattox County seeking $332,000 from the Virginia General Assembly for capital safety improvements. The center serves 19 localities, including Amherst, and leases 157 acres from the Virginia Department of Forestry.
Since 1941, Amherst County youth have attended programs at the center, according to Preston Wilson, a representative of the nonprofit center.
The center’s hoped-for improvements include a medical clinic facility and equipment upgrade, a public announcement system for active shooter preparation, handicapped accessibility upgrades, an emergency generator, exterior security lighting, infrastructure upgrades, HVAC units, a large pavilion upgrade; roof, gutter and siding replacements, a kitchen floor replacement, challenge course repairs and platform tents for outdoor skill education, according to the resolution.
Supervisor David Pugh said he learned to canoe, shoot rifles and bow and arrows while at 4-H camp there and recalls it being his first time away from home as a child.
“I really enjoyed it and I still have those memories,” Pugh said.
Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.