Wolff’s Sandwich Shoppe, Atlantic, VA
Meeting began at 7 PM
Presenter: Ron Wolff, Accomack County District Representative
Guest Speakers: Norm Bobczynski, Launch Site Manger, Orbital Sciences
Audience: About 15 members. Audience includes Phil Hickman, Chair, County Planning Commission.
There is no agenda or audio recorded for this meeting.
Mr. Wolff stated it was the 66th County Forum meeting. There has been a great many inquiries from businesses in regard to Wallops Research Park. He indicated if businesses come in it could mitigate the tax increases in county. The overall economic situation is stable compared to other counties and states. He noted Paradiso pizza recently closed.
The broadband initiative is moving forward. It is moving from the south and will go through route 175 to Chincoteague.
The county Board of Supervisors (BOS) enacted a resolution saying all rubbish generated in county must stay in county. This was done so that rubbish did not go to Northampton county landfill. A negotiation was attempted to have rubbish taken offshore. Funds are needed to close southern Accomack county landfill. BOS is negotiating for a trash convenience center in south part of county.
There are some issues with northern landfill and its lagoon. County was cited by DEQ in regard to discharge from lagoon. The leachate is being shipped to Snow Hill. The problem is being worked to eliminate discharge.
Economic Development Authority (EDA) has turned over its waterworks to the county. Pipe from Industrial Park goes up the road to Onancock. The county is in the water utilities business now.
Greenbackville ten-lot development and sewer treatment plant was discussed. The Army Corps of Engineers reviewed the application. Jim McGowan previously indicated to Mr. Wolff that Army Corps of Engineers will be out to Greenbackville to inspect the situation. Due to lack of paperwork, this subject will not be on the upcoming Planning Commission meeting for the county. No info from health department on this situation as of yet. No info from DEQ either. Question from audience member (AM) in regard to petition and where to send it. Phil Hickman was in audience and discussed that petition will have little impact since county does not have right to refuse developer’s application, however, citizens are encouraged to make sure developer follows through with promises and plans. Mr. Hickman indicated it may be a good thing to contact Lynwood Lewis with respect to putting a sewer treatment plant right next to historic homes in Greenbackville. Phil Hickman indicated that the original ordinance that allowed utilities right of ways will be amended to cover situations with sewer treatment plants. AM asked if county will take over utility when developer leaves. Mr. Wolff indicated that this is one possibility.
Mr. Bobczynski discussed launches at Wallops Research Park via Orbital Sciences. Big rocket at almost 1 million pounds will be tested soon. The goal is to launch about six missiles a year. Program revolves around COTS which will supply the International Space Station (ISS). In December 2010 the Space Shuttle will disappear. At that point, the USA will need to buy rides from Russia to supply ISS. Mr. Bobczynski started slide show on ISS and the COTS program. He stated that manned shuttle for USA will not be available until 2017.
The plan is to keep COTS a private business venture and not a public government program. One missile is being built in the Ukraine and they are trying to deliver this massive rocket to Wallops. A test run will be made with oversize tank to see if land route or barge will be needed for massive rocket later. A ground breaking ceremony will be held later this month.
AM asked about environmental concerns of propellants. Mr. Bobczynski stated great care is taken to handle propellants and the liquid oxygen and RP1 (kerosene) which can explode, but the byproducts are similar to car emissions.
The massive rocket will be 13 feet in diameter and over 100 feet tall. Issue of weight going over bridge onto Wallops will be a concern and plans are needed to handle them.
Mr. Bobczynski noted that USA only gets 10% of commercial business due to the cost of USA rockets to launch capsules into space. Cost of rocket needs to get down to $50M or even less for USA to be competitive in this market.
Adjournment approximately 8:30 PM
Notes by Tim Getek
N.B. These notes do not constitute the public record of this meeting. The information contained herein is offered in good faith and is presented as accurately as possible. These notes are intended to be a public service devoid of political commentary for those who are interested in following the civic affairs of Chincoteague Island and Accomack County. Notes of the meeting are recorded, transcribed and distributed by volunteers who receive no financial compensation for their efforts.