Supervisors discuss drainage at Accomack Board meeting

April 19, 2024

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors had an extended conversation at Wednesday night’s meeting on drainage in the County. The discussion was initiated by Supervisor Jeff Parks at last month’s regular meeting. Following record rains in March, the subject rose to the top after some supervisors received complaints of flooded property and roadways.

County Administrator Mike Mason reiterated that the County has been actively trying to fill open positions but, due to manpower shortages in both the HR department and Public Works, ditch work has come to a halt.

Mason said that it takes time and a lot of work to gain access to some of the ditches because the County seeks perpetual access to not only clean the ditches but maintain them going forward. Some landowners just don’t want to grant that perpetual access.

Supervisor Hart asked if there were a mechanism the County could use to go onto private property following a heavy rain to try and improve drainage. Mason said that the key to the ditch cleaning process is the perpetual easement. When asked if the County could clean ditches on private property in an emergency without landowner permission, the County Attorney said it was not legal to make changes on private property without landowner permission.

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There had been talk of developing a committee to study the problem. Chairman Crockett suggested that Supervisor Parks head up the effort and serve as a committee of one in working with Public Works to help solve the problem.

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