Safety and Historical integrity are equally important considerations in repairing the Oakland Mills walking bridge. The Henry County Conservation Department continues to explore options for repairing the bridge without jeopardizing its’ spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is closed to foot traffic this winter while John Pullis pursues grant dollars to help pay for repairs. It could cost between 400 and 750 thousand dollars just to meet safety criteria even tho Pullis assured his board and the county supervisors that the bridge is not in danger of falling down if it is used. The bridge was again a topic of discussion at the Henry County Conservation Board meeting last night and part of Pullis report to the supervisors this morning. Pullis also said he is ready to close out the paperwork for the 2010 FEMA project. This was a project to install electric pedestals in the Oakland Mills Park camping areas that should withstand future flooding. FEMA money is supposed to help pay for the project, but Pullis said he hasn’t seen any money yet. Pullis reported to the supervisors that his department is offering a special on cabin rental. Thru the winter months if someone rents a cabin for Friday and Saturday at $50 a night then they can rent either a Thursday or a Sunday night free.
The Henry County Auditor would like to add to her full time staff. Shelly Barber received permission from the supervisors this morning to amend her budget in order to hire a fourth person. Derrick Wellington’s safety and IT responsibilities make it hard for Barber to spare one of the other two staff members for more training. No one in the office is currently able to fill in for the auditor if she has to be gone for an extended period of time.