March 26, 2009
By Greg Merritt • Staff Writer
CHINCOTEAGUE -- The Chincoteague Town Council heard an update on the broadband situation and approved two grant applications sought by the town's police department in a special meeting Thursday night.
It was a short meeting lasting under 45 minutes.
Cat Edwards of the Accomack-Northampton Planning District provided council with an update of the broadband block grant application. She said the fiber optic cable was in the process of coming across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
"That's what all the delay is for," she added as the construction has caused delays in the tunnel area for the new cable.
Edwards told the council that another public hearing would be required in the near future and the meeting would be advertised in upcoming newspapers.
The council also approved unanimously a request by Police Chief Edward Lewis to apply for two grants. The first grant is for a new police car. The car is a 4-wheel drive vehicle that will be used mostly by the K-9 Unit, but could also be used in low lying areas during extremely high tides.
The council unanimously approved a motion to authorize the police department to seek a Community Facilities Grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grant would cover 80 percent of the $32,500 vehicle. The town would be responsible for paying 20 percent of the price, if the grant is approved.
The council also unanimously passed a motion to authorize the police to apply for a COPS Grant to establish a new police officer position. The grant, if successful, would cover 36 months for the police officer with the town responsible for an extra 12 months at the end of the 36-month period.
Police Chief Edward Lewis attended the meeting and answered questions about the two grants.
After the council adjourned the meeting, all the members stayed for a joint meeting with several members of the town's Planning Commission.
The two bodies listened to Town Planner Jared Anderson explain some of the zoning changes proposed in the town's Master Plan.
Council has been in the process of going over the plan, line by line. There were several lines that members of council disagreed on and some of the lines were deleted.
At the request of Mayor Jack Tarr, Anderson unveiled a new zoning map, complete with color graphics displaying the new zoning proposal.
The council will continue to review the plan until it is finished.
The next monthly council meeting is scheduled for April 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers.