Beach resident wants ‘steel pier’ condemned
The so-called "Steel Pier" at the end of Colonial Avenue in Colonial Beach. The painted warnings can be seen faintly painted on the concrete.
A Colonial Beach citizen has filed a request to have a potion of property in the town owned by a veterans’ group condemned because of its “hazardous” nature.
“I love this town,” Paul Kaller told town council at its August meeting. “But I am ashamed of what goes on here.”
The property, located at the end of Colonial Avenue, on the waterfront, is known as “the steel pier.” The property is adjacent to the town’s boardwalk and is owned by the American Legion Post 148.
Kaller said that his application for condemnation had been denied by Gary Mitchell, the town’s director of building and zoning administration, and that he has been in regular contact with the town for two months to do something about the issue. Mitchell was not at the August council meeting.
Brian Martin, an officer with the Legion, was present with two other members of the veterans’ organization. Martin said that the property has been there for more than 50 years and there have been no issues. Martin said that it was grandfathered in due to the longevity of the property. There are, Martin said, “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” signs posted around the property and there are chains and rails around it as well.
The Legion plans to work on the property in the fall once temperatures cool down, Martin said. He explained that the Legion has looked into more in-depth repair, but that has proved cost prohibitive.
In other news, William Flammer spoke on his concerns with the town’s police department allegedly speeding through town, specifically near Hawthorne Avenue.
Flammer stated that he had made a complaint on July 13 of a police officer driving at 65 to 70 miles per hour with no lights or sirens.
Flammer also reported that he had received a copy of the report on the water tested at Eleanor Park and that it was deemed safe. Town officials had previously stated that the water was safe, prior to Flammer’s reporting of the property to the state Department of the Environmental Quality.
His remarks concluded with a report of his call to Gov. Bob McDonnell’s office to make a complaint on the “overgrowth around sidewalk curb cuts.” He spoke to McDonnell’s staff to ask why the Virginia Department of Transportation had spent the money for the curb cuts if they could not be used.
Council voted to raise the minimum rate for commercial water usage from $169.20 per year to $289.20 per year. This is for minimal usage as all commercial buildings are required to have a water meter and pay extra after the use of 60,000 gallons per year. The rates are: $1.50 per thousand for the next 150,000 gallons, $1.38 per 1,000 for the 150,000 after that, and $1.20 per 1,000 for any usage over the 360,000 gallons per year. This ordinance goes into effect on Oct. 1.
Council also unanimously appointed Nathanial Broughton as the town’s newest auxiliary officer.