Wise County’s Board of Supervisors and Appalachia Town Council Meeting

Wise County’s Board of Supervisors and Appalachia Town Council met last week to garner public opinion on a boundary adjustment that is leading to a court review. Filled with joint and public hearings, they plan to expand the town’s southern border by approximately five hundred and fifty acres. Originally the plan was for roughly one thousand acres along Appalachia’s southern and southwestern border, that would grant the town additional land for both economic and industrial development purposes, and would have included the town’s Powell River Trail, the majority of which is between Appalachia and Big Stone Gap.
Mayor Teddie Collins stated that Appalachia is “closed in” by mine company land, national forest land and rail roads. Vice Mayor Chase Christian, stated that the adjusted plan would allow development of the George Washington Rock site along Alternate Route 58, as well as putting the Powell River Trail within town limits.
Council Member Travis Anderson, added that the former Westmoreland Bullitt Mine complex site, comprising twenty seven acres, offers an advantage as a commercial industry property with existing water and power service that could also hold a new fire and emergency services station. Since it’s classification as an abandoned mine site, federal abandoned mine land funding could potentially cover all of the expense of a new fire station. A facility at that site would also enable faster response times to more remote areas in which firefighters and rescue squad workers serve.
Offering a motion for an approval from the board on the adjusted plan which reflected the exclusion of four hundred and fifty acres, as well as a residential section, the vote passed 8-0 and town council members also approved with 5-0. A follow up by Wise County Attorney Karen Mullins, claimed that the next step in the process will be the presentation of an accurate map of the adjusted plan, and the resolution of the two governing bodies, in an approved petition, which could be ready before the end of the year.


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