‘No-cost’ benefit to county?

Due diligence questions for the Rappahannock Supervisors regarding the 1.2 mile bike path:

Have supervisors investigated the experiences of other counties in Virginia that have received these grants (other than Fauquier)? What problems or issues have been encountered?

What is (historically) the average lag time before a county gets reimbursed for its expenditures?

What constitutes a “non completion” judgment by VDOT that would trigger the county’s obligation to repay VDOT all funds expended?

Will RappTrails be required to agree to indemnify the county for all unreimbursed expenses, budget overruns, legal expenses, clean up, as the claim has been repeatedly made that the project will “cost Rappahannock County taxpayers nothing”?

Who will be legally responsible for the oversight and management of the project, assuring county compliance with federal rules and regulations and will this require adding to the county payroll?

Who will pay for periodic maintenance of the trail (heaving/cracking, debris pick up after storms etc.) and what are possible liabilities connected with its ownership — and who is the owner?

Since the claim is being made that this will cost the county nothing, should not RappTrails be required to fund a maintenance account, despite assurances that volunteers will do the work?

We didn’t see a “bike path deficit” as one of Foothills Forum’s findings regarding needs for Rappahannock County. The county is divided enough today. Does the county want to invest in something that over the next five or more years is unlikely to become less divisive? Much will depend on how legally airtight are the terms of commitment being made by RappTrails to deliver a “no cost” benefit to the county.

John Kiser
Al Henry
Editor’s note: Al Henry is a Rappahannock County planning commissioner; Kiser resides in Slate Mills.

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