and online editions)
Jim Osborne, left, talks with Assistant County
Attorney Lee Moise following Monday's discussion
about ATV trails in the county. (Staff
photo/Cathy St. Clair.)
Riders Ask Board for Help In Unlocking CNX Gates
Cathy St. Clair
about recent decisions by CNX Gas to place locks on
gates which formerly allowed ATV riders in the county
access to ride on gas well roads were expressed Monday
during a meeting of the Buchanan County Board of
of the Lonesome Pine Trail Riders asked the board for
its help in getting the locks removed, or at least in
allowing them to use the trails again as they have
been allowed to do since about 2000.
Osborne noted that until recently county ATV riders
have been able to use the gas well roads, but after
problems the company experienced with copper thefts
last summer, he said the company had locked the gates
and essentially destroyed any trail the group has on
which to ride.
don't know that we've caused any problems,"
Osborne said. "We ride at our own risk."
Supervisor Buddy Fuller said he remembered that in the
past there had been an agreement worked out with CNX
for the ATV riders to use some areas and he said that
needed to be examined first.
not a bunch of outlaws," he said. "We're
just country people who like to have a good time and
they've locked us out."
members agreed to form a committee to work with County
Administrator W.J. Caudill and CNX to try to work out
rider in the audience, who did not identify himself,
noted he was tired of being considered a thief because
he rides a four-wheeler and he suggested that law
abiding four-wheeler drivers were being accused of
things in which they are not involved.
pointed out ATV riders bring in tourism dollars to the
county and suggested in fact they could help companies
like CNX by keeping an eye out while they are on gas
well roads to report any suspicious activities
will help you all we can, but we, ourselves, cannot
make them take those locks off," South Grundy
Chairman Roger Rife told the delegation of about 30 to
40 riders present for Monday's meeting.
man suggested that in order to have a key to the lock
on the gas well roads as before, he would be willing
to have a background check done and several other
riders agreed they would also be willing to undergo a
background check for the privilege of holding a key to
also turned to current Virginia law as it impacts ATV
riders, who may not ride on state or county roads.
members noted that rights as far as where ATV riders
may ride are predominantly controlled by the state and
they noted that the ATV riders should contact their
state legislators to see changes made in where ATV
riders may ride.
pointed out that in neighboring Kentucky and West
Virginia they may ride their ATV's for short distances
off the trail to restaurants or gas stations and they
suggested it would be great if Virginia would allow
was suggested they contact Del. Dan Bowling and Sen.
Phillip Puckett to discuss potential changes in state
law to allow that.
the meantime, however, in order to address the gas
well road usage, the riders were asked to pick two or
three of its members who know the locations of the
locked gates to meet with Caudill and the mapping
department to carve out a map showing the gate
locations the riders would like to see opened. Caudill
indicated he would then contact CNX to set up a
meeting with the committee and his office in hopes of
coming to some agreement on the usage of the gas well
Feds Return Files to Buchanan PSA Office
by Cathy St.
box-loads of files taken from the Buchanan County Public Service
Authority office by the federal government were returned to the
Buchanan County office just prior to Thanksgiving.
According to PSA
Director Darrell Cantrell, the files were dropped off, unannounced,
by federal agents.
prosecutors have never publicly stated their investigation(s) in
Buchanan County have concluded, however since the PSA files have
been turned back to the PSA, it appears any investigation involving
that agency is now over.
files have previously been returned to the Buchanan County
Administrator's office and Buchanan General Hospital.
Bids Rejected as Too High on
Cathy St. Clair
received to build the proposed Hurley Medical Clinic were formally
rejected Monday as over-budget.
Members of the
Buchanan County Board of Supervisors agreed unanimously to reject
the bids and to reissue an invitation to bid on the clinic project.
Assistant County Attorney Lee Moise, two bids were received on the
project including one from Corte Construction Co., Inc. and one from
J&J Contractor's Inc. Both were more than what the county had
In agreeing to
readvertise the project, board members also agreed to include
language in the request for proposals to allow for any low bid
received in the rebid process to be negotiated if the low bid is
over the budgeted amount for the project.
Moise noted the
code of Virginia allows for the low bid to be negotiated in the
event the board announces it will do so in its request for proposals
in the event a bid is over-budget.
The deadline to
submit the new bids is December 14.
The bids will
then be considered when the board of supervisors meet in continued
session on December 18 at 10 a.m.
motion to reject the bids and reissue the invitation for bids was
made by North Grundy Supervisor Carroll Branham and was seconded by
Garden Supervisor Buddy Fuller. The vote was unanimous.