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Yes. On December 9, 2020, The Hanover County Board of Supervisors adopted a Blueprint to Broadband plan for ultimately providing internet access to unserved and underserved residents.
Just over a year ago the Board of Supervisors created an advisory committee of industry expects and staff to focus on the critical need of broadband for unserved areas and underserved areas of Hanover County. The committee outlined a path from which to solve this issue for county residents.
While broadband internet access is essential, Information Technology Director Kevin Nelson told the Board at its December 13 meeting, the solution will have to be diverse and will take commitments of resources, including staff to administer, time and funding.
“Hanover County is too big to have just one solution,” Nelson told the Board. “There is no practical way to get fiber (in-ground cable) to everyone in Hanover. Fiber is part of the solution, wireless is part of the solution, satellite is part of the solution.”
Nelson presented an array of findings and recommendations of the Broadband Advisory Committee. The committee recommended that the county government leverage the expertise and infrastructure of private internet service providers. Part of this approach is to use grants to supplement funding solutions because applications are stronger when local funding is included. The full report can be read here.
As an interim solution, the County is using CARES Act funding to increase local access at the location of county government facilities. By the end of the year, public Wi-Fi areas will be installed at five park facilities (Courthouse Park, Pole Green Park Community Center, Taylor Complex, Poor Farm Park and the Montpelier Community Center-Parks & Recreation building). It will also be in the parking lot at the County Courthouse complex and at the Fleet Services building on North Lakeridge Parkway, as well as outside the County’s libraries.
Hanover will continue to seek federal and state funding opportunities. The county government is not eligible to apply for grants on its own, but it joined with Comcast and CenturyLink this summer to seek funding in two separate applications to serve about 1800 customers in the far eastern and western portions of the county. A decision on those grant applications is expected to come before the end of the year.
“We absolutely welcome any internet, wireless or satellite provider to Hanover County,” Nelson told the Board. For example, he emphasized, “we would love for Verizon to come here with Fios. They have said they are not going to. They have said that, not we. We will take all comers. We just want solutions.”
In addition to those residents who are unserved, others have service that they are unhappy with, either because of the quality or the cost or both. Addressing those issues might take longer but are a focus of the plan, said County Administrator John A. Budesky.
“There’s not going to be a silver bullet that solves the internet problem,” Budesky told the Board. A team of staff has been established to focus on short and long-term solutions. He projected that addressing all the issues might take 10 years.
Board members all agreed that it is important to find a solution. Ashland District supervisor Faye O. Prichard feared the County was falling “further and further behind” in providing solutions for businesses and schools. Henry District supervisor Sean Davis recognized the funding challenge, but looked forward to continued dialogue and community input.
The Board’s adoption of the plan enables the County to move forward with review of specific policy recommendations.
Construction of improvements to Sliding Hill Road between Atlee Station Road and New Ashcake Road should be substantially complete by the end of this month (December).
As of December 2, the contractor is finishing up final paving and striping, followed by final seeding and clean-up throughout the project. Some checklist items could remain but at that point the project will be essentially complete for public use. Bad weather could impact schedules but the project remains on schedule.
In addition to widening Sliding Hill Road between Atlee Station Road and New Ashcake Road, the project includes other improvements such as adding sidewalks and bicycle paths and upgrading traffic signals at Atlee Station Road, Kings Charter Drive and Air Park Road.
Hanover County hold a citizen information meeting on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, to present preliminary plans for the proposed widening of Pole Green Rd between Bell Creek Road and Rural Point Road. The meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room in the Hanover County Administration Building, 7516 County Complex Road, Hanover, Va.
Since Hanover County recognizes COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people who can gather in person, the meeting also will be live-streamed. When the meeting goes live that night, you will be able to view it at the following link: https://hanovercova.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=388&key=-1&mod=-1&mk=-1&nov=0
Because in person attendance at the meeting is limited due to COVID-19 protocols, seating must be reserved in advance. Seating will be assigned on a priority basis to property owners abutting the project, on a first come basis for those wishing to attend. There are 20 spaces available. Anyone who attends will be required to wear a mask at all times. To reserve a seat, please call the Department of Public Works at (804) 365-6176.
Questions and comments are invited prior to and following the meeting and every effort will be made during the presentation to address questions received prior to the meeting. Questions and comments can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to the Department of Public Works, P.O. Box 470, Hanover, VA 23069. Please reference “Pole Green Rd Widening” in all correspondence.
For those attending the meeting in person, comments can be submitted in writing on note cards distributed at the meeting. Anyone who is unable to view the meeting online or attend in person and would like to discuss the project further can contact the Department of Public Works at (804) 365-6176 to arrange to meet virtually or in person.
The purpose of this meeting is to present the preliminary design including the road alignment, storm water management, intersection layouts and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations early in the development of the project to allow the public to have early input in the design process.
A diagram of the preliminary road alignment and other exhibits can be viewed on the Department of Public Works web page under “Quick Links” at the following link: https://www.hanovercounty.gov/816/Roads-and-Transportation
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Authority is building a $91 million headquarters complex, expected to open next year.
The 40-acre property will include a 315,000 square foot warehouse and a 95,000 square foot office building that will provide the workspaces for approximately 500 employees.
According to the ABC Authority marketing department, the project is on schedule and tracking to submit a request for a Certificate of Occupancy from the County by June of next year. Virginia ABC plans to operate out of the new facility in time for the 2021 holiday season.
Zoning approved by the Board of Supervisors last year also permitted fast-food restaurants, gas or convenience stores and other retail uses on part of the site. This property is located within one of the County’s Economic Development Zones.
As part of the May 2019 zoning, the state will make several traffic improvements on Pole Green Road, including constructing a continuous “Green T” intersection at AMF Drive/Pole Green Road/Antique Lane.
The state also agreed to make a cash contribution of about $800,000 to go towards improvements to Pole Green Road.
Hanover County has long planned to widen Pole Green Road between Bell Creek Road and Rural Point Road.
Many residents of adjacent neighborhoods have struggled through reduced cell phone coverage since the former tower on the property of New Highland Baptist Church was badly damaged by a fire several weeks ago. This tower was not owned or operated by the County. Verizon Wireless has filed an application for a Special Exception to place a temporary tower on the Church property. The temporary tower is expected to be in place for one to two years, while the former bell tower structure is demolished and a new bell tower is constructed.
Per Verizon’s plan, this is one step in a multi-step process which began with the placement of a temporary communication tower vehicle. Just this week, that vehicle was replaced with a COW (Cellular on Wheels). The COW is expected to provide enhanced service from that which was provided by the truck tower. The tower which is the subject of the Special Exception application will consist of a monopole structure. It will be 110 feet in height, and will again further enhance telecommunication services to the area. A public hearing on this Special Exception permit is scheduled to be held by the Board of Supervisors on August 26; public hearings begin at 7 p.m.
Hanover County and Verizon Wireless have worked very closely to ensure that all permits are submitted and processed as fast as possible. The community’s patience is appreciated as Verizon works towards restoring service to the area.
Hanover began outsourcing the processing of county bills 20 years ago to save taxpayers money. To align with our current banking service contract, bills are now mailed directly to the bank's payment processing center. This reduces the processing time to 3 to 5 business days. The current contract saves about $32,000 annually in various fees.
Taxpayers can always pay their bills in person at the Treasurer's Office at Hanover Courthouse and can pay personal property and real estate bills online via
All Hanover County public roads and bridges (outside of the Town of Ashland) are operated and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). VDOT also maintains roadside ditches, performs snow removal functions and builds new roads with money allocated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
On VDOT’s Work Request page, you can submit a request to have a road repaired, to remove something from a road, to have signs or traffic devices repaired, to request new signs or traffic devices, to submit a claim or to ask for more information. This page can also be used to submit snow plowing-related complaints.
You can call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-367-7623 around the clock. TTY users can call 711.
If you have a unique road or drainage problem or other questions and need help determining the appropriate agency contact, you can call the Hanover County Department of Public Works at 804-365-6181 and they will help you.