Four King William County Bridges Need Repairs to Accommodate Vehicle Passage
Some excellent research by the Staff of the Middle Peninsula Planning District (MPPD) unveils there are numerous bridges throughout the district that are in dire need of repair, many with no funding dedicated for that purpose in the near future.
VDOT is responsible for the repair and upkeep of bridges in the Commonwealth. The list discussed at the most recent meeting of the MPPD by its members revealed 21 bridges have posted weight restrictions looking to be put on a schedule for upgrade.
King William County has four bridges on the list, Route 600, Route 629, Route 701, and Route 618. The other bridges were shared by four other Middle Peninsula localities, with Essex having seven and King & Queen having eight.
MPPD Staff presented a future funding schedule for repairs to some of the bridges as identified by VDOT. None of the four King William bridges are on the list for funding in the near future. Only Route 618 is currently at risk for some vehicles to cross which includes fire trucks, garbage trucks, plow trucks, cement trucks, dump trucks, and 40-ton tractor trailers.
The information will be shared with Delegate Brian Hodges, who represents the Northern District localities. The King William County Board of Supervisors will lobby the State Legislature for additional funding to include Route 618 and the other bridges in an updated funding plan.
Board of Social Work Speeds Up Licensure Process
Governor Glenn Youngkin announced October 26 the Virginia Board of Social Work has enacted regulations that will speed up the process by which a social worker from another state can receive a license in Virginia.
Caitlyn Frolo of WSET-TV penned an article that highlighted the significance of the Governor’s announcement, which will now allow a licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Master’s Social Worker, or a Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker licensed in another state to obtain a license in Virginia. This can be done by providing verification they have a license in good standing in another state and by providing verification of passing the exam at the same level they are seeking licensure for in Virginia.
This is great news for all localities in Virginia who are having trouble attracting licensed social services employees. The new regulations, according to Frolo’s article, reach out further by simplifying the process for social workers with an expired or inactive Virginia license to regain their license and re-enter the workforce.
A 2021 report by the Virginia Health Care Foundation noted that Virginia ranks 39th among states for access to mental health care and 93 of Virginia’s 133 localities are federally-designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Success of State Septic & Well Program Causes Funds to be Depleted Ahead of Schedule
A program set up to help Virginia residents with septic tank issues is running out of money, according to state officials.
Mallory Noe-Payne of Radio IQ has penned an article reporting the Septic and Well Assistance Program (SWAP) has had to stop accepting applications because the response has been “incredible.”
The program has already finished almost 40 projects, with another 73 under construction according to Noe-Payne’s article. There are still 140 projects waiting.
SWAP Director Nicole Sandberg is quoted as saying the $11 million for the program that was part of COVID-19 relief funds will be spent 2.5 years ahead of schedule, with over 600 people being assisted.
Nearly a million Virginia families have septic systems at home, with a large number in King William County.
Many Bird Populations Reaching ‘Tipping Point’ for Existence
Part of the beauty of rural counties such as King William is the presence of wildlife and a rustic landscape.
Everett Eaton of the Virginia-Pilot has researched that many bird populations are reaching their “tipping point,” with many of the species coming as a surprise.
Eaton reports more than half of bird populations are sharply declining across the United States, and dozens have been added as tipping point species, which are close to being threatened or endangered because they have lost half or more of their populations in the past 50 years.
One of the birds on the list is the Heermann’s gull, as well as the black-footed and Laysan albatross, petrels, and the red-faced cormorant, according to Eaton. The report also lists many wetland birds and Eastern forest birds.
The beauty of a cardinal or blue jay seems to be protected for now, but with a greater focus than before on the environment, preserving fowl and wildlife needs to be a greater priority for future generations to enjoy.
Fuel Assistance Applications Being Accepted at King William DSS
Fuel assistance applications ae being accepted at King William County Social Services offices.
Fuel assistance includes home heating costs as well as furnace re-starts, late charges, delivery charges, installation charges, and connection or re-connection fees.
Details and applications can be found on the Virginia Department of Social Services website. Income guidelines do apply.