The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has agreed to repurpose $20,000 in proffered funding from one trail project along the Rivanna River to another one upstream.
“What the public will have with this is a really nice section of riverfront access,” said Dan Mahon, the county’s greenways coordinator.
When supervisors agreed in 2005 to rezone land for the Belvedere community, the developer agreed to spend $10,000 for a greenway connection and $10,000 for a pedestrian bridge between the nearby Dunlora and RiverRun neighborhoods.
Twelve years later, time is running out for the county to collect on the funding because all of the necessary details have not yet been worked out.
“The county owns the RiverRun piece but we don’t have an easement or a dedication for the Dunlora side, nor do we have easements or dedication in place between Dunlora and Belvedere for that segment of greenway,” said senior permit planner Rebecca Ragsdale.
County staff recommended that supervisors agree to reallocate cash to another project.
“Staff recommends that the Belvedere greenway proffer funds be redirected from the proffered project areas that are not yet ready for greenway development and applied to more critical needs upstream,” Mahon said.
Mahon said the money could be used instead to open up access to a county-owned property known as Still Meadow.
“Trail corridor work, including an engineering study, is needed to design the bridge to cross an unnamed creek and develop a trail,” Mahon said.
The total estimated cost of the project to access the Still Meadow land is $82,000. Ragsdale said there are other funds available to move forward.
“We have proffer funds from other developments that can also be used toward the greenway, which will be necessary because bridges and the engineering and surveying that will be required is much more expensive than the $10,000 we have,” Ragsdale said.
A representative from the Piedmont Environmental Council said he was disappointed the county was unable to secure the infrastructure called for in the original proffer but understood the situation.
“While the Dunlora to RiverRun greenway bridge and the associated segment of the Belvedere greenway may be delayed, we are glad that staff has recommended a way to shift these funds to another and nearby component of the overall greenway system,” said Jeff Werner of the PEC.
However, Werner asked that equivalent funding be found in the capital improvement program to move forward with construction of the original Belvedere proffer.
Supervisors voted unanimously to move forward with the reallocation, but details will come back to the board for final approval in October.