2013 FAC Meeting Notes

Please scroll down to find the Meeting Notes for 2013:
  • December 19, 2013
  • September 19, 2013
  • June 20, 2013
  • March 20, 2013
 
December 19, 2013
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Federal Advisory Commission Meeting
December 19, 2013
Middletown Town Hall
875 Church Street Middletown, Virginia

1) General Introductions Patrick Farris

2) Adoption of Minutes Patrick Farris

3) Update—Status of FAC Members/Nomination Process Jim Northup

4) Update—Impacts of Government Shutdown/FY 2014 Budget Jim Northup

5) Update—New Park Brochure Amy Bracewell

6) Update—Highway Directional Signs Amy Bracewell

7) Update—Report on Visitor Contact Station and Bookstore Amy Bracewell

8) Update—Shared Graphic Identity Amy Bracewell

9) Update—Planning/Development of Park Trails Amy Bracewell

10) Update—U.S. 11 Bridge Project Amy Bracewell

11) 150th Anniversary Planning Amy Bracewell and Patrick Farris

12) I-81 Bridge Replacement Amy Bracewell

13) Planning for Future Land Protection Amy Bracewell


Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Jim Northup, Designated Federal Official (DFO);
John Adamson, Belle Grove, Inc.; Carl Bernhards, Middletown; Amy Bracewell, NPS; Katie Donahue, USFS; Patrick Farris, Warren County and chair; Eric Lawrence, Frederick County; Rob Nieweg, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Richard Redmon, Strasburg; and Pam Sheets, Shenandoah County.

Commission members absent: Jeanne Frink, Commonwealth of Virginia; Stanley M. Hirschberg, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (CCBF); and Nicholas Picerno, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF).

Others in attendance: Matt Armstrong, Winchester Star; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Kristen Laise, Belle Grove, Inc.; Dave Stegmaier, District Office, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf.

Chair Patrick Farris opened the meeting at 8:31 a.m. Farris asked that everyone present give their name and affiliation.

The meeting notes from September 19, 2013, were approved with one abstention.

Jim Northup said that he was sorry to see that Representative Frank Wolf would not be running for reelection, and mentioned that he knew the Commission would want to know about any farewell commemorations. Dave Stegmaier responded that the Congressman still has a year on the job, and that we would be hearing from him.

Jim Northup reviewed the status of the commission members’ appointments: Jeanne Frink’s term expires March 2014. Rick Redmond’s term expires June 2015. Northup needs Carl Bernhard’s resume to complete his renomination package. Eric Lawrence’s renomination has been submitted. Pam Sheets has been reappointed to a second term. Patrick Farris’s term has expired, and Warren county is considering a candidate. David Blount and Thomas Kelley have expressed interest in the private landowner slot. A person to represent a citizens’ interest group is needed. Renomination packages have been submitted for John Adamson, Stan Hirschberg, Rob Nieweg, and Nick Picerno.Amy Bracewell and Katie Donahue have been approved for the ex-officio positions.

The government shutdown was a disaster for the parks and the communities near them in work time lost, decline in productivity, and lost revenues. Shenandoah National Park lost 2,000 workdays and $400-500,000 in entrance fees. The park’s concessioner last approximately $2.4 million in lost revenues. The silver lining was that Amy Bracewell and Eric Campbell had made good preparations and the partners stepped into the breech.

Nevertheless there was much confusion, and with the NPS website not working, many
people could not get basic information. The parks are looking at a 3 percent cut in revenues for FY 2014.

Amy thanked everyone for their comments on the current version of the park brochure. She is working with HFC to address comments and develop solutions that will address the long-term needs of the publication. The project remains on schedule for delivery in the park in June 2014.

The highway directional sign program was adversely affected by the shutdown, namely in bringing the contracting process to a halt temporarily, but the end of the project is in sight. If moneys are received, payment can be made to the contractor, and installation will hopefully be in March or April. The signs on I-66 have been rejected by the regional engineer, so the next step is to appeal that decision to the Richmond headquarters.

The visitor contact station is now observing winter hours, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only Shannon and Eric will be working there; the volunteers will come back in April. Visitation this first season was 2,056. In this first five months of operations the retail outlet took in $2,300.

Bracewell is now preparing the Scope of Work for the shared graphic identity request for proposal; it will be released in January. Once the award has been made she will report of the progress of the effort.

The project to develop park trails got off the ground with a charette, June 26. It was followed by a walk-through August 26 and a second one December 11 once the leaves were off the trees. The NPS and Belle Grove met with private landowners to discuss concerns and answer questions that they have about trails. The group has focused on four possible trails: the Vermont Monument trail, the Trench trail, Thoburn trail, and Belle Grove to the Heater House trail. A number of concerns have arisen: keeping trail users and cattle apart, liability issues, trespassing at Panther Cave, security issues and policies relating to security, and establishing a priority for construction of the trails. The trail crew foreman from Shenandoah will lay out the Vermont Monument trail with the goal of having it in use by next season. Also a trails document needs to be prepared; it will be created with the assistance of Ursula Lemanski of the NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.

VDOT has rejected the U.S. 11 bridge alignment recommendation made by the NPS and the Commission. VDOT will be holding public meetings in the area December 13, 2013, through February 14, 2014. Many commissioners questioned why VDOT seemed not to want to respond to the suggestions prepared by the NPS and the Federal Advisory Commission. Northup said that to have an effective discussion with VDOT, he would need specifics on why the plan was flawed. Adamson said that the Commission must be clear in what it wanted, pointing to aspects that were not acceptable and to also to those that were compelling. Northup said that he would draft a letter based on today’s conversation and ask Commission members to comment and provide substantive additions to the document before sending it.

Bracewell and Farris reported that planning for the 150th anniversary commemorations is proceeding. A number of different speakers have been proposed: Governor Terry McAuliffe, Congressman Frank Wolf, NPS Director Jon Jarvis. They hope that there can be a lecture series in August. Farris also reported the Virginia Civil War 150 HistoryMobile will visit the Lord Fairfax Community College campus, February 19–22, 2014. The group is working to encourage participation and to identify marketing opportunities.

Bracewell reported that she had received an email and a phone call from Joshua Gutshall of VDOT on November 16. The agency is planning to replace the northbound bridge on I-81 over Cedar Creek. The bridge will also be widened and will extend VDOT’s right- of-way 20 additional feet into land owned by Belle Grove and SVBF. This work will be advertised in January 2017. SVBF has informed VDOT that its land is protected by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The park will be meeting with the Civil War Trust and partners in December to discuss land
protection priorities and to draw up a prioritized list of land acquisition opportunities.
Preservation is an issue for all partners, and it is critical for the park.Everyone needs to think about the long term, including the talked-of expansion of I-81 as well as any other preservation issue. This is the time for a careful and thoughtful discussion and
planning. All ideas will be reported to the Commission.

In the final minutes of the meeting the discussion returned to VDOT and its rejection of the
NPS/FAC suggestions on the U.S. 11 bridge. After hashing over the ideas and thoughts, the
Commission drafted a motion: The Federal Advisory Commission advises the NPS to pursue taking the decision of the Staunton Regional Office to the next higher level and to stress the nature of a road project through a national park.” The motion was approved by all members with one abstention.

The next meeting will be at the Warren County Government Center, March 20, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.

The election of officers will take place at the March meeting.

Patrick Farris adjourned the meeting at 10:10 a.m.
 
September 19, 2013

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Federal Advisory Commission Meeting
September 19, 2013
Strasburg Town Hall
174 East King Street Middletown, Virginia

1) General Introductions Patrick Farris

2) Adoption of Minutes Patrick Farris

3) Update—Status of FAC Members/Nomination Process Jim Northup

4) Update—Impacts of Sequestration/FTE Ceilings Jim Northup

5) Update—New Park Brochure Amy Bracewell

6) Update—Highway Directional Signs Amy Bracewell

7) Update—Report on Visitor Contact Station and Bookstore Amy Bracewell

8) Update—Shared Graphic Identity Amy Bracewell

9) Update—Development on Park Trails Amy Bracewell

10) Update—U.S. 11 Bridge Project Amy Bracewell

11) 150th Anniversary Planning Amy Bracewell and Patrick Farris

12) Cooperative Agreements Jim Northup

13) Elevating the Park Profile - Amy Bracewell and Jim Northup

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Jim Northup, Designated Federal Official (DFO);
John Adamson, Belle Grove, Inc.; Carl Bernhards, Middletown; Patrick Farris, Warren County and chair; Stanley M. Hirschberg, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Eric Lawrence, Frederick County; Rob Nieweg, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Nicholas Picerno, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation; and Richard Redmon, Strasburg.

Commission members absent: Mary Bowser, private landowner; Katie Donahue, USFS; Jeanne Frink, Commonwealth of Virginia; and Pam Sheets, Shenandoah County

Others in attendance: Matt Armstrong, Winchester Star; Amy Bracewell, NPS; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Kristen Laise, Belle Grove, Inc.; Dave Stegmaier, District Office,
U.S. Representative Frank Wolf.

Chair Patrick Farris opened the meeting at 8:37 a.m. Farris asked that everyone present give their name and affiliation.

The meeting notes from March 21, 2013, were accepted as corrected.

Amy Bracewell and Jim Northup are working on the nomination process to replace those members whose terms have expired; they have not heard from Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, a citizen’s interest group, Town of Middletown, National Trust, private landowners, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, and Warren County. The nominations need to be vetted at the White House and then approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Northup suggested that all members whose terms have expired continue to serve until replacements are approved. Patrick Farris will continue to serve until the new members are in place and elections can be held. Diann Jacox had been both the designated federal official (DFO) and an ex-officio member. Northup suggested dividing the function so that he will be the DFO and Amy Bracewell will be the ex-officio member.

A motion to allow Patrick Farris to continue to serve until a replacement is found was approved with seven yeas and one abstention.

Carl Bernhards and Stan Hirschberg reported that their organizations were planning to renominate them for a second term.

Northup has asked the Regional Office for one additional employee to fill the cultural resources position. All units have been told to expect a 3 percent reduction in FY 2014.


The park currently has two lapsed positions, so the cuts would not result in lost
employees. Currently there is no budget resolution, and a government shutdown is possible on October 1, 2013.

Bracewell thanked everyone for the comments on the brochure. A meeting with the design staff is scheduled for October 3, 2013, and all is moving along well.

The estimates from Virginia Logos on the sign production have been received: $104,000. The papers arrived too late for the work to be contracted for this fiscal year, so the contract will be
submitted after October 1. With the closure of the Wayside Theater, that hanging panel has been deleted. Signs for I-66, though appealed, have still not been approved. The request for
reconsideration is moving to a higher level. Everyone was concerned that the signs get into the ground as soon as possible. Northup is working closely with Virginia Logos and will pass on the commissioners concerns to them, so that the NPS and FAC are represented by one voice.

The visitor contact station (VCS) has averaged 450 visitors a month since its opening; 1,500 have attended ranger programs. Beginning in November the VCS may close one day per week. Shenandoah National Park Association is now the park’s cooperating association, and they have installed two bookcases full of items. In July sales were $635 and in August $650.

Early in FY 2014 Bracewell will submit a contract to begin work on the shared identity.

The trails charette on June 27 went well. Discussion centered on a variety of trails and solicited advice from Ursula Lemanski of the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. The goals in creating trails are to connect park units, collaborate with partners, and be sensitive to park resources. Access will be pedestrian only, but all trails will be accessible to wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs. The park cannot support horse traffic, off road vehicles, or mountain bikes. Liability, maintenance, agricultural leasing, and livestock are major concerns for planning the routes. Possible trails would be: the Vermont Monument, the Entrenchment line to Belle Grove, Belle Grove to the Heater House, and a CCBF trail. The trail crew from Shenandoah NP, led by Steve Printz, walked the ground in July. They will do a similar walk once all the leaves are off the trees. The ultimate goal—on the distant horizon—is to create a trail system that is fully linked.

The plans for the U.S. 11 bridge will proceed pretty much as VDOT has planned the construction. They believe that their plans cause no adverse impact on the cultural resources. Patrick Farris wondered if the rights of way for the older bridges might be turned over to the park or to the SVBF so that the land is protected. John Adamson suggested that seeking a use permit from the state might help give the land a protected status.

Planning for the 150th anniversary has begun. Park staff have met with the Key Partners. All are trying to figure out what everyone can handle. The events that have taken place4
during 2013 are being reviewed for approaches that could be of use here. Talks have been
had with Harpers Ferry NHP, the Civil War Defenses of Washington group, and Monocacy NB to link the commemorations that all are doing in 2014. This is an obvious approach since the actions 150 years ago were all parts of the same story. Terry Heder, SVBF, is also assisting and advising in this endeavor. The NPS Sesquicentennial Office has publications that the parks can use as well as advice on how to present information. Over the course of the fall the group will be moving to more concrete ideas and will be able to report on what will be done by the December meeting. Virginia is sponsoring mobile exhibits that move around the state. In February 2014 they will be at Lord Fairfax Community College.

Northup reported that he is working on developing cooperative agreements between the NPS and the Key Partners. The agreements will facilitate the transfer of advice and resources between the individual groups and the NPS.

Bracewell and Northup are working with the public affairs specialist at Shenandoah National Park to discuss methods for heightening the awareness of the park in the local area and beyond.

Other Business
Carl Bernhards reported McDonalds may be coming to Middletown. Initial plans call for
the three-story structure at the intersection of I-81 and Reliance Road. A planning meeting will be held soon, and the location and time will be advertised. Should anyone have any comments, they are free to attend to voice any concerns or support that they might have.

Northup thanked the Town of Strasburg for its hospitality.

The next meeting will be at the Middletown Town Hall, December 19, 2013.

Handouts
Agenda
Letter from the Department of Transportation, Commonwealth of Virginia. September 3,
2013

 
June 20, 2013
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Federal Advisory Commission Meeting
June 20, 2013
Warren County Government Center
220 North Commerce Avenue Front Royal, Virginia

1) General Introductions Patrick Farris

2) Report on the First 90 Days
Jim Northup and Amy Bracewell

3) Update—Impacts of Sequestration/FTE Ceilings Jim Northup

4) Update—New Park Brochure Amy Bracewell

5) Update—Highway Directional Signs Amy Bracewell

6) Update—Opening and Operation of the New Visitor Contact Station Amy Bracewell

7) Update—Shared Graphic Identity Amy Bracewell

8) Development of a Shared Vision for Park Trails Amy Bracewell

9) Update—U.S. 11 Bridge Project Amy Bracewell

10) Update—Status of FAC Members/Nomination Process Jim Northup

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Jim Northup, Designated Federal Official (DFO);
John Adamson, Belle Grove, Inc.; Katie Donahue, USFS; Patrick Farris, Warren County 2
and chair; Stanley M. Hirschberg, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Eric Lawrence,
Frederick County; Rob Nieweg, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Nicholas Picerno,
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation; Richard Redmon, Strasburg; and Pam Sheets, Shenandoah County

Commission member absent: Mary Bowser, private landowner.

Others in attendance: Matt Armstrong, Winchester Star; Paul Coussan, Civil War Trust; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Dave Stegmaier, District Office, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf; Amy Bracewell, NPS.

Chair Patrick Farris opened the meeting at 8:41 a.m. Farris asked that everyone present give their name and affiliation.

Jim Northup, superintendent of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and Shenandoah National Park reported that in the first 90 days he has met with all the partners, talked to the boards of supervisors of Warren and Shenandoah Counties, and met with the town of Strasburg. Amy Bracewell has been attending the senior staff meetings at Shenandoah NP. Northup has been spending one day per week at Cedar Creek, and thus far things appear to be running smoothly. Successful collaboration has taken place with administrative systems, budget and accounting, and IT support; the design charette on shared graphic identity was enhanced by having two Shenandoah NP persons as well as the chief of interpretation participate. Northup and Nieweg also participated in a National Trust meeting on involving youth in preservation programs.


On sequestration Northup reported that FTE ceilings are being strictly enforced. Cedar Creek is currently at its ceiling of 6. Though the GMP calls for a staff of 14, the anticipation of a 3
percent cut in FY14 makes any additional staff unlikely At Shenandoah, campgrounds and visitor centers are opening later than normal. Subject-to- furlough positions are being trimmed from 10.5 months back to six months. Though the future looks difficult, the staff is committed to educating the community and its leaders that the park will do everything it can. By judiciously using existing funds and Shenandoah NP personnel, work on planning for trails can begin.

Amy Bracewell spoke about the planning for the new park brochure. The park staff met with the HFC team on April 29. They discussed the overarching themes that the publication will portray, dealing with the entire story, not just the Civil War, and ensuring that visitors get an introduction to the park that is carefully nuanced. The HFC people will come to the park in late August with a proposal that all can talk about at the September 2013 FAC meeting. The schedule for having the new publication available for the 150th commemoration is still on track.

The park received notice from VDOT that half the requested signs have been approved for
installation and told how an appeal may be made for those not approved. VDOT will replace all current Belle Grove, Cedar Creek Battlefield, and Wayside Theater signs with the new ones. Currently the park is awaiting cost estimates for the approved signs so that installation can move forward. VDOT is also evaluating signs for the visitor contact station.

The visitor contact station is off to a good start. The dedication ceremonies were well attended, and in the first month 468 visitors were counted. The park is working with Shenandoah National Park Association to install a bookstore outlet.

The design charette on the shared graphic identity went very well. Claire Comer, Neal Lewis, and Matt Graves from Shenandoah gave an invaluable presentation on the worth of a branding element and what it could do for all partners. The hope is to find an illustrator with a history of dealing with logos to create several initial designs that all can react to. Rob Nieweg wondered if such an element might be available in time for the 150th commemoration.

A trails charette will be held June 26, led by Ursula Lemanski of RTCA to explore the topic. The idea is to talk about where trails might go, and where they should not go. The goal is to develop a few trails that can be done easily and quickly.

Representatives from the park and the partners met with a VDOT engineer to talk about the
realignment of the U.S. 11 bridge over Cedar Creek. The proposal is to replace both current bridges with one new bridge. The partners would like to propose that VDOT place the new bridge on the footprint of the current northbound bridge and restore the southbound bridge, making it the focus of some visitor service activities. The goal is to retain the cultural landscape of the Stickley farm. Hill Studios, a landscape architect firm has prepared a proposal for review. The NPS will promote “Context Sensitive Design” in dealing with VDOT on this particular issue and others that may arise.

Jim Northup reported that the FAC has 15 members, each serving a three-year terms with the
possibility of one renewal. Some new members may be needed, and others will need to have their second term approved. Here are the list of commission members with the dates of expiration of their terms:
John Adamson—September 2013
Carl Bernhards—September 2013
Mary Bowser—September 2012
Citizen Interest Group—currently no member Katie Donahue—June 2016
Patrick Farris—September 2013
Jeanne Frink—March 2014
Stan Hirschberg—September 2013
Eric Lawrence—September 2013
Rob Nieweg—September 2013 Jim Northup—permanent member
Nick Picerno—September 2013
Rick Redmond—March 2015
Pam Sheets—March 2012 (renewal letter in the Department) Other Business
Patrick Farris said that he would talk to the Warren County Board of Supervisors about a
replacement for him.

Approval of the minutes was delayed until the September meeting.

Election of officers should be in September, so be thinking about candidates. Northup expressed his thanks to Elizabeth McClung for her years of work.

The next meeting will be September 19, 2013, in the Strasburg Town Hall.

Chair Patrick Farris adjourned the meeting at 10:18.

Handouts
Agenda
Talking Points for Bracewell Report


 
March 21, 2013
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Federal Advisory Commission Meeting
March 21, 2013
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia

1) General Introductions

2) Welcome/Introductory Remarks
Jim Northup

3) Welcome/Introductory Remarks
Amy Bracewell

4) Update—Visitor Contact Station
Eric Campbell

5) Update—Park Signage and Graphic Identity Standards
Eric Campbell

6) Update—Development of Unigrid Brochure
Amy Bracewell

7) Looking to the Future—Working Relationship between the NPS and the Cedar
Creek and Belle Grove NHP Advisory Commission Patrick Farris and Jim Northup

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Jim Northup, Designated Federal Official (DFO);
John Adamson, Belle Grove, Inc.; Carl Bernhards, Middletown; Katie Donahue, USFS; Patrick Farris, Warren County and chair; Jeanne Frink, Commonwealth of Virginia; Stanley M. Hirschberg, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Eric Lawrence, Frederick County; Rob Nieweg, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Nicholas Picerno, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation; Rick Redmon, Strasburg; and Pam Sheets, Shenandoah County
Commission member absent: Mary Bowser, private landowner



Others in attendance: Eric Campbell, NPS; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Elizabeth
McClung, Belle Grove, Inc.; Dave Stegmaier, District Office, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf

Chair Patrick Farris opened the meeting at 8:38 a.m. Farris asked that everyone present give their name and affiliation.

Jim Northup, superintendent of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and Shenandoah National Park thanked everyone for coming to the commission meeting and expressed thanks to John Adamson, Elizabeth McClung, and Rob Nieweg for the reception at Belle Grove for Amy Bracewell and him on March 18, 2013.

Northup began expressing that it is an honor and privilege to be superintendents of these two
parks. He stressed that this was a sincere statement; it was not formulaic. Northup gave a brief biography: born in Bethesda, Maryland, graduated from Walt Whitman high School and from the University of Maryland. His first NPS position was as seasonal at Shenandoah National Park in 1979. He has worked at Cape Hatteras NS, Buffalo NR, Fire Island NS, Grand Teton NP, Big Bend NP, Grand Canyon NP, Guadalupe Mountains NP, Great Smokies NP, and most recently as superintendent at Pictured Rocks NL. He worked up through the ranger ranks; he is not a historian nor a Civil War scholar. He and his wife, Phyllis, have two daughters.

He thanked Eric Campbell and the staff for their work during the transition from Diann Jacox’s
retirement to his and Amy Bracewell’s arrival. He also acknowledged the tremendous amount of work that the commission members had put into the General Management Plan, noting that the work was an important step in making the park and the partnership a cohesive whole.

Northup then addressed the recent past, stating his awareness of the concerns about the
realignment, how it was handled, and the anger, frustration, and missteps in communication that grew out of the efforts. He stressed how important it is for Amy and himself that they work with the commission and the park staff to realize the common aims, goals, and aspirations that everyone shares in regard to the park.

He talked briefly about the realignment: This is not a merger. Cedar Creek and Shenandoah are two very different parks. The staff, budget, and mission remain separate, but he will work with Amy to ensure that when needed collaboration will be the norm of how they work, enlisting the services of Shenandoah’s cultural resources, IT, etc. Amy will be the day-to-day manager, asking for cooperation when needed and Northup will make that work. Northup will also meet with the key partners, and the park will move forward on all projects under NPS leadership. There is much to learn, much to do, and it is important not to lose momentum.

Amy Bracewell, site manager of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park spoke about her excitement being here. She has come here from Mount Rushmore NM, a park with a small staff where she learned to do many different things. She holds degrees 3 in art history and cultural resource management. She is looking for ways to raiseawareness of the park, of its stories, about its partners, and how to be useful to all.

Eric Campbell talked abut the visitor contact station (VCS). The final bits of work are being
completed, and the unofficial opening will be near the middle of April. An official opening will
follow, but that date is dependent on Congressman Frank Wolf’s schedule. Shannon Moeck has signed up about 27 volunteers to staff the VCS with two days of training for the volunteers scheduled for April 4–5, 2013.

Patrick Farris commented on how gratifying it is to see this project come to reality. Rob Nieweg commented that he hoped that the ―official‖ opening would be an occasion to raise awareness for all on what the park is becoming.

Campbell continued on to talk about the latest developments on the signage. He has received comments back from VDOT on what can and cannot be done, based on VDOT’s regulations. Campbell circulated handouts showing VDOT’s review of the signs that will be placed on I-66 and U.S. 11. Site specific signs that will not be in the VDOT right-of- way will be dealt with in the near future.

Since the site specific signs are dependent upon coming to a consensus of a design approach more work needs to be done. Nieweg urged that we not let this project falter, but continue to move forward. Northup suggested perhaps a design charette might be a vehicle for moving the project forward so that at the September FAC meeting the commissioners could have proposals to review and come to a final decision.

Campbell and Bracewell talked about the park brochure. The HFC team is returning to talk about the layout and the approach so that they can produce a new concept. Though this means the publication will not be ready according to the original schedule, it will be produced, printed, and delivered well before the 150th commemoration in 2014.

The remainder of the meeting was taken up talking about the future workings of the partners, the commission, and the park staff. Northup began by saying that he was going to review the bylaws and check on the terms of individual members, renewing those that needed to be renewed, and looking for new members if needed. He also said that the commission should look at the terms of the elected officers and schedule an election if needed. Northup also stated that he will be the designated federal official on the commission.

Northup talked about the nature of the commission as it moves into having a new person as the park superintendent. The challenge is to ensure collaboration and to strengthen the advisory process, assess threats to the park, and encourage a sense of ownership and pride in the park’s future for those who live within the park boundaries and for those in the adjacent areas.

Stan Hirschberg stated that he believed that the FAC was ignored during the realignment
process, but that it is time now for a new beginning. He appreciated the candor with4
which Northup addressed the issues arising from the realignment. Rob Nieweg said that
he believed—and hoped—that everyone could do better. Elizabeth McClung cited the example of the new bridge on U.S. 11 as an example where the FAC and key partners could work to ensure preservation of the landscape and to provide for pedestrian access.

Other Business
Jeanne Frink reported that the I-81 caucus of ten Valley state legislators has been formed
to address and monitor VDOT’s planning and proposals for widening I-81 from West Virginia to Tennessee. Pam Sheets reported that the status of I-81 is a standing partners’ agenda item. Rick Redmon added that rail alternatives and the Corridor H route also need to be included.

The notes from the December meeting were approved as presented.

There was no old or new business.

The next meeting will be June 20, 2013, at the Warren County Government Center at 8:30 a.m.

Chair Patrick Farris adjourned the meeting at 10:14 a.m.

Handouts
Agenda
VDOT Sign Directive


Last updated: January 13, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 700
Middletown, VA 22645

Phone:

(540) 869-3051

Contact Us